The DP official today officially announced that it will conduct a public money laundering investigation that "distorted the British Columbia economy, fueled the overdose crisis and raised housing prices".
The decision on the continuation of the Commission of Inquiry is based on three independent reviews, which showed extraordinary money laundering in the real estate market in the BC and other sectors of the economy.
"From the first day, our government is striving to solve the housing crisis and fraud that has been unchecked for more than a decade, which has affected the people and the economy of the BC," said Prime Minister Janez Horgan. "We have taken decisive action to combat money laundering, but questions remain, and DP people need answers."
That is, he said, "so we decided to continue the public inquiry into money laundering in the province of British Columbia."
Supreme Court Judge Austin F. Cullen was appointed investigator to investigate the full extent of money laundering in British Columbia, including real estate, gambling, financial institutions, and corporate and professional sectors.
It will also examine regulatory authorities and obstacles to effective prosecution against money laundering activities. He will have the opportunity to force witnesses and order disclosure.
The inquiry "will give answers about who knew what, when, and who benefits from money laundering in our province," said David Eby, general prosecutor of the BC. "Honorable Judge Cullen will have a mandate, powers and means of finding answers, perhaps the most important among people and organizations who do not want to share what they know unless they are legally forced to do so."
The Money Laundering Investigation Commission in British Columbia will submit an interim report and a final report by May 2021 within 18 months.
More than $ 7 billion was washed in 2018
The Expert Group on Money Laundering in Real Estates estimates that in the year 2018, more than $ 7 billion of dirty money was washed in BC, and that dirty money increased the cost of buying a dwelling by about 5%.
However, this number can be much higher – by more than 20% – in areas such as Metro Vancouver, where there are more money laundering activities, the board found.
"People are understandably shocked and upset about money laundering, and it's not right that owners and tenants pay for the cost of crime," said Carole James, Minister of Finance. "With our 30-point housing scheme, we have already taken steps to make our real estate market more honest and transparent. The continuation of this public research strengthens our commitment that we will squeeze dirty money out of our countryside and people's lives. «
Mr Peter German's report from 2018, Dirty Money, described the history of money laundering and criminal activities in casinos in the valley. His recently published report on money laundering in real estate, luxury cars and horse races has revealed that thousands of specific properties worth billions of dollars are owned by individuals or entities with services that relate to money laundering powers.
He also found that there was no agency or police with proper supervision or means to investigate these suspicious activities.
The province said it works on the basis of the findings of a dirty money report. Nine of the 48 recommendations from the 2018 dirty money report were completed, and two additional mid-term recommendations of December 2017.
Half of the recommendations should be completed by the summer.