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B.C. launches new money laundering review in real estate sector

By ROB SHAW for Vancouver Sun

VICTORIA — B.C. will conduct a second independent review into money laundering, this time focusing on whether illegal proceeds of crime have been used to buy real estate, to gamble at horse-racing tracks and to buy expensive luxury cars.

Attorney General David Eby announced the review on Thursday, saying it will answer lingering questions of whether dirty money has distorted sectors of B.C.’s economy, in particular the housing market.

“We don’t know yet the extent of criminal activity that may be occurring in these sectors, but we have no intent of ignoring the many warning signs,” said Eby.

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Peter German, the former RCMP deputy commissioner who investigated money laundering in B.C. casinos earlier this year, will conduct the new investigation with a deadline of next March, said Eby.

A particular focus will be on the use of trust accounts by lawyers to mask the source of money used in real-estate transactions and the misuse of builders’ liens in the construction industry, said Eby.

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