By Jeremy Nuttall, As quoted in the Star Metro Vancouver, September 20-22, 2019.
British Columbia’s Attorney General David Eby recently spoke to Star Vancouver about the money laundering revelations the province has been dealing with for the last two years.
Real estate and casinos are among the vehicles being used to launder billions in questionable cash, according to independent reports commissioned by the province. Now, Victoria wants more federal help to combat the problem.
Eby, who is this week’s Star Vancouver guest editor, discussed what’s been done to combat money laundering in the province so far, and what still needs work.
Where are we in terms of progress on the money laundering fight?
I still can’t say with any certainty that the issue that Peter German identified back in March, which was that there was a total absence of dedicated RCMP officers working on the anti-money laundering file — literally none — that that’s been addressed. That is a pretty serious issue, given the fact that we’ve had now two years of headlines about money laundering in British Columbia.
Why would the RCMP not address that almost immediately?
I don’t know. That is the part that’s really strange to me. And I do understand that the RCMP is under pressure for a bunch of different priorities. But really, to not have dedicated officers on the anti-money laundering file, even just to start with rules around money service businesses, these little companies that do exchange and they sell bank drafts and they do various kinds of money-based payday loan operations. We’ve got a bunch of them that aren’t complying with federal Fintrac regulations around registering with Fintrac and reporting to Fintrac and yet even enforcing that basic piece seems to be beyond the capacity of federal law enforcement. So, I’m not sure why that is.