B.C. is investigating money laundering in Lower Mainland real estate, after millions in suspicious transactions were identified in casinos. (Black Press files)

B.C. to track ‘dirty money’ in real estate, horse racing

$100M in casino cash may only be the ‘fun money,’ David Eby says

The B.C. government is extending its investigation into money laundering beyond casinos, into real estate, horse racing and exotic cars.

Attorney General David Eby and Finance Minister Carole James announced two separate reviews Thursday, one carrying on the work of former RCMP investigator Peter German into cash brought in through casinos. That includes real estate, horse racing and luxury car purchases.

Eby said when German looked into casino cash brought in by high rollers, he found $100 million in suspicious transactions, including $1.2 million in a single casino visit.

“If this is the money that these individuals are gambling with, this is their fun money, then what is the business money and where is it coming from?” Eby said.

James announced the appointment of Simon Fraser University professor Maureen Maloney, a deputy minister in the previous NDP government, to chair an expert panel on financial services and other regulations that cover international real estate transactions.

“We certainly are going to be looking internationally,” James said. “Money laundering knows no borders.”

RELATED: Cash rules tightened for B.C. casinos

RELATED: ‘Money laundering is the modern face of organized crime’

Both of the reviews are directed to report to the B.C. government by next March.

“Our examination of money laundering in casinos uncovered troubling evidence suggesting that dirty money is circulating in other places in our communities,” Eby said. “The multi-faceted approach announced today is an attempt to move quickly to anticipate and and shut down new avenues for money laundering, and to follow up on specific cases that Dr. German and the media have drawn to the public and government’s attention.”

James said speculation in urban real estate became a “wild west” that attracted other crime.

“Our overheated housing market can attract criminals and people wanting to abuse the system,” James said. “When these people exploit loopholes, they drive up housing prices and help organized crime and drug dealers.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislaturemoney laundering

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

Routes he drove have not been disclosed

Surrey mayor denies property tax deferral motion

Councillor’s notice of motion for Surrey property taxes to be deferred until Dec. 2 out of order

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

April 7: Brewery starts making hand sanitizer, City of White Rock and Surrey lays off employees

Team refunds OK’d for cancelled Surrey Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament

The decision follows the amalgamation of the Central City Breakers club with Surrey Football Club

COVID-19: B.C. reports 4 deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read

l -->