Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on February 24, 2020. Money laundering in British Columbia will be under scrutiny again this week when a public inquiry resumes today. Over the next 3 1/2 weeks, expert witnesses ranging from academics to police officers are expected to shed light on how dirty money is quantified and the regulatory models that are being used to fight it around the globe. The B.C. government called the inquiry amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel its real estate, luxury car and gambling sectors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Money laundering in British Columbia will be under scrutiny again this week when a public inquiry resumes today.

Over the next 3 1/2 weeks, expert witnesses ranging from academics to police officers are expected to shed light on how dirty money is quantified and the regulatory models that are being used to fight it around the globe.

The B.C. government called the inquiry amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel its real estate, luxury car and gambling sectors.

Opening arguments were held in February and the main hearings scheduled to begin in September will delve into specific industries.

Commission lawyer Brock Martland says the goal of this part of the inquiry is to create an understanding of what money laundering is and the strategies other countries have used to get a grip on it.

The hearings are being streamed online.

Expert witnesses will include Simon Lord of the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, RCMP Chief Supt. Robert Gilchrist of the Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada and Oliver Bullough, author of “Moneyland: The Inside Story of the Crooks and Kleptocrats Who Rule the World.”

“The sort of game plan is to have the view from 30,000 feet,” Martland said.

The inquiry is being led by commissioner Austin Cullen. Attorney General David Eby has said he hopes it will answer lingering questions about how the criminal activity has flourished in the province.

B.C. also commissioned three reports that revealed B.C.’s gambling, real estate and luxury car industries were hotbeds for dirty money, but Eby said an inquiry will be able to dig deeper because it can compel witnesses to speak.

In February, the B.C. Real Estate Association told the inquiry that it supported the creation of a provincial land registry that identifies those buying property. It has also struck a working group to make anti-money laundering recommendations.

The B.C. Lottery Corp. said it has consistently reported suspicious transactions to Fintrac and pointed out unusual conduct to the gaming policy enforcement branch.

The corporation has also brought in measures to control or prevent the flow of dirty money since 2012, including creating an anti-money laundering unit made up of certified investigators and intelligence analysts.

And the Great Canadian Gaming Corp., which owns several B.C. gambling sites, also defended the company’s efforts to limit money laundering, telling the inquiry that criticism of the industry is unfounded.

A coalition of tax fairness groups told the inquiry at the time that hiding ill-gotten cash behind shell companies is so widespread in Canada it’s known globally as “snow washing.”

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

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.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

money laundering

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Penticton man who rescued family from fire says it’s him who needed rescuing

Months after saving Linda Pakfec and her family from a burning building, Gord Portman says he’s clean

‘We have your grandson’ – Princeton seniors scammed out of thousands of dollars

Two elderly Princeton men are saying they were robbed of thousands of… Continue reading

VIDEO: Active graduate receives Summerland Secondary School’s top honour

Devyn Slade was presented with the Verrier Award and Matsu Memorial Scholarship

Four people rescued after floating past Penticton’s Skaha Bridge

Elevated water levels prompts safety message from local fire department

Bags of dog feces donated to Princeton charity thrift store

A Princeton Crisis Assistance Centre volunteer was made almost physically ill after… Continue reading

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

Noose graffiti not tolerated by Vernon resident

Woman, son paint over hateful image painted on neighbourhood fence

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

HERGOTT: The right to resist unlawful arrest

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Finale of seven-week food drive arrives at FreshCo Kelowna

The new grocery store has partnered with the organization for a food drive

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

‘We need to re-think our systems’: Kelowna mayor on RCMP Southeast Division statement

The RCMP held a news conference on Thursday, July 2 to address concerns in the force

Most Read