Commissioner Austin Cullen, back centre, listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in B.C. in Vancouver, on Monday, February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Acceptance of cash deposits rare in real estate, B.C. money laundering inquiry hears

B.C. Real Estate Association: Working group urged mortgage brokers to only accept verifiable funds

The organization representing real estate agents in B.C. has told a provincial inquiry into money laundering that its members have only ever accepted modest cash deposits in rare circumstances.

A lawyer for the B.C. Real Estate Association says the sector struck a working group in response to two government-commissioned reports last year that found the housing market had become a hotbed for dirty money.

Chris Weafer says the working group recommended that mortgage brokers and others in the real estate industry should only accept funds that are verifiable through Canadian financial institutions.

However, Weafer says an analysis shows that an acceptance of cash deposits in B.C. real estate has never been common practice unless there were extenuating circumstances, and even then amounts were modest.

Kevin Westell, representing the Canadian Bar Association and Criminal Defence Advocacy Society, told the inquiry today that lawyers should not be required to report to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre, or Fintrac.

He says such a requirement would violate crucial solicitor-client privilege, compromise the independence of the bar and add to a “disturbing” trend of the B.C. government undermining the work of lawyers.

READ MORE: Money laundering has warped economy and fuelled opioid crisis, B.C. tells inquiry

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

money laundering

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

Just Posted

At-home learning for SD67 students to begin April 6

In-classroom learning remains suspended due to COVID-19

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen cancels April 2 meeting

Staff working to install videoconferencing system during COVID-19 pandemic

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Fundraising initiative created to help during COVID-19

Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen working with other organizations

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

Most Read