Dirty money in real estate reports submitted to province

Expert Panel on Money Laundering and Dr Peter German meet deadlines to hand in two commissioned reports

Glacier Media Real Estate
April 1, 2019

B.C. Attorney General David Eby
B.C. Attorney General David Eby. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Two reports on money laundering in real estate and other high-end sectors were handed to the B.C. government today – but it could be a while before they are made public.

The reports were commissioned in September 2018 as part of a two-pronged approach to tackling dirty money being laundered through B.C.’s luxury sectors – primarily high-end real estate, but also luxury cars and horse racing.

The Expert Panel on Money Laundering was convened to create the first report for the Ministry of Finance, recommending rule changes to close loopholes in the real estate market and increase transparency in B.C. property ownership.

The other report is the second of Dr. Peter German’s reviews into money laundering for Attorney-General David Eby, this one focusing on real estate, luxury cars and horse racing. 

“Money laundering is a serious problem in our real estate market and this kind of activity has no place in our province,” said finance minister Carole James in a statement April 1. “Our real estate market should be used for housing people, not for laundering the proceeds of crime. That’s why we asked our expert panel to review our rules and regulations, and to offer concrete actions that we can take to clean up our real estate sector.”

Eby stated of Dr. German’s report, “British Columbians feel the effects of money laundering in their daily lives, with apparent links to organized crime, the opioid crisis and the housing market, which is why we have focused our efforts on quickly shutting down this criminal activity. Peter German’s first report made it clear that while money laundering was a significant problem in our casinos, there was also troubling evidence that the criminal economy was growing elsewhere in British Columbia.”

The government said that it would review the contents of both reports before making them available to the public, without specifying a deadline for this.

Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Media Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, Times Colonist, Prince George Citizen, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also writes and oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condos & Homes, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 23 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist talk radio show on Vancouver's Roundhouse Radio.
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