The B.C. government may expand the scope of a proposed policing unit, meant to specialize in money laundering in casinos, to other areas, including real estate.
“Obviously we have a problem in British Columbia with people putting proceeds of crime into real estate. There have been many news reports about this — and people are appropriately concerned,” B.C. Attorney General David Eby said Thursday.
Eby said he was considering the potential expansion of the unit following a Postmedia investigation published this week. It found that 20 Lower Mainland properties valued at more than $43 million were linked to those accused of using proceeds of crime to buy property and other assets in the Lower Mainland. The accused were targets of the RCMP’s E-Pirate and other police probes into allegations of drug trafficking, illegal gambling and money laundering, according to a Postmedia News analysis of hundreds of pages of court records and property documents.
The E-Pirate investigation is B.C.’s largest money-laundering case, where allegedly as much as $220 million was washed through an underground bank in Richmond, and possibly as much as $1 billion, involving several countries including China and Mexico.
The “designated” policing unit — still in development — is a recommendation from a government-commissioned report of former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German, delivered in June 2018, that found money laundering was being done through Lower Mainland casinos.