Written by Srijani Datta, Assistant News Editor
September 27 marked the start of Attorney General David Eby’s early-June promise of a second phase of investigation into money laundering in B.C.
Based on a recent provincial news release, Eby is fulfilling that promise with a “two-pronged review aimed at shutting down avenues for money laundering in real estate and other sectors.”
The first part is to be led by the Ministry of Finance, and it aims to recognize “systemic risks” which increase the sectoral vulnerability of real estate and financial services to money laundering.
As a part of the first phase, the Ministry of Finance has brought in criminal law expert and SFU professor Maureen Maloney as the chair of an advisory panel called the Expert Panel on Money Laundering in Real Estate. This panel is in charge of making recommendations to the government by March 2019.
Maloney expressed enthusiasm for her new appointment and highlighted the need to address money laundering immediately.
“I am looking forward to reviewing the systemic laundering risks in the real estate market,” Maloney said. “The panel hopes to provide solutions to curbing these disturbing issues and providing recommendations that work.”
“Our examination of money laundering in casinos uncovered troubling evidence suggesting strongly that dirty money is circulating in other places in our communities.” – David Eby, acting Attorney General, B.C.
“Our examination of money laundering in casinos uncovered troubling evidence suggesting strongly that dirty money is circulating in other places in our communities,” said Eby.
The investigations come in the wake of an inquiry into money laundering in B.C.’s casinos by Dr. Peter German. German is a lawyer and former RCMP executive, hired by Eby in late 2017 to probe B.C. Lottery casinos. German’s probe had led to big regulatory changes in the province’s casinos in June.
“Our overheated housing market has attracted speculators, criminals, and others that are abusing the system. This needs to end,” Maloney stressed
During the announcement made at the end of September, the provincial government reported the start of the second part of the investigation, which aims to tackle province-wide money laundering in real estate, luxury cars, and horse racing, specifically. The second phase will be headed by Eby.
The B.C. government announced that the multi-pronged strategy is meant to quickly capture and close down new paths for money laundering in the province.