Vancouver real estate used for money laundering, international agency says
Canada has good anti-money-laundering rules, but loopholes and lax enforcement leave Vancouver’s real estate sector vulnerable to transactions from criminals including corrupt Chinese officials, an international agency says.
In a new report, the Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based intergovernmental group that makes recommendations for fighting money laundering, said Canada has improved standards since the agency’s last evaluation in 2007. But “law enforcement results are not commensurate with the money laundering risk, and asset recovery is low.”
The report highlights Vancouver for money laundering in the real estate sector.
And Canada was judged “non-compliant” with agency recommendations to increase oversight of the wealth sources and transactions of so-called international politically exposed persons.
“The real estate business is exposed to high risk clients, including politically exposed persons, notably from Asia, and foreign investors,” the report says. “For example, there are cases of Chinese officials laundering proceeds of crime through the real estate sector, particularly in Vancouver. Canada may be particularly vulnerable to such laundering as there is no extradition treaty with China.”