British Columbia

New money laundering reports will be released 'as soon as possible'

The B.C. government has received a pair of long-awaited reports looking into money laundering and says it will thoroughly review both reports before deciding whether to launch a public inquiry.

Province to review pair of reports before deciding whether to launch a public inquiry

Attorney General David Eby said staff will 'thoroughly review' a pair of government-commissioned reports before releasing them to the public, likely late this spring. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

The BC government has received a pair of long-awaited reports looking into money laundering in this province.

One of them is a follow up to former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German's initial report released last June that looked at the links between money laundering and casinos and concluded with 48  recommendations.

German's new report focuses on money laundering in real estate, luxury cars and horse racing and is now in the hands of government.

"I've received Dr. German's report — it's very lengthy, more than 300 pages," said Eby. "Our staff will be going through it in detail, and the goal is to release it to the public as soon as possible," he told reporters at the legislature on Monday.

The latest German report was commissioned by the province last fall following widespread concern about B.C.'s reputation as a haven for money laundering.

'Cleaning up' real estate sector

The other report submitted this week is from an expert panel on money laundering, chaired by former deputy attorney general Maureen Maloney.

It was tasked with making recommendations to B.C.'s finance ministry about ways to close loopholes in the real estate market.

"Our real estate market should be used for housing people, not laundering the proceeds of crime," said Finance Minister Carole James in a statement.

"That's why we asked our expert panel to review our rules and regulations and to offer concrete actions that we can take to clean up our real estate sector."

Both reports were submitted by the March 31 deadline, but it'll likely be later this spring before they're released publicly.

"When we receive reports like these, we have to go through and make sure that we're not inadvertently disclosing information that could compromise law enforcement or that we're not inadvertently defaming someone," said Eby.

There have been growing calls for a public inquiry into money laundering in B.C.

The province has said it will thoroughly review both reports before deciding whether to do so.

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