Cullen Commission: Money laundering probe will continue

by Steve Randall on 17 Mar 2020

The investigation into money laundering through British Columbia’s real estate industry is not being heavily impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Cullen Commission, led by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin F. Cullen, began in February 2020 with a remit of assessing how the province’s real estate and gambling industries are being utilized by criminals to launder dirty money.

In a statement this week, the Commission said that it is monitoring the situation around the COVID-19 spread and is focused on the safety of its team and those assisting with the probe.

But with many staff able to work remotely, it says it has closed its physical office and has the technology available for those who are self-isolating or social-distancing.

The Commission says that its work it continuing to move forward “as expected.”

Public hearings are due to take place from the end of May.

Lack of compliance
A recent report from Global News cited an internal report from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTRAC) which shows that just 52% of real estate firms are compliant on training employees to spot the signs of potential money laundering; and 53% on identifying clients.

And The British Columbia Real Estate Association has called for greater federal and provincial cooperation to help combat money laundering in the province.

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