Realtors targeted in real estate audit

The real estate industry is the subject of a money-laundering audit by Canada’s finance intelligence unit Fintrac.

The Province reports that the audit has been ongoing for several months and that it could result in fines or even jail for any realtors found to have been under-reporting of large financial transactions and suspicious activity.

A Fintrac official said: “Our compliance people are not happy.”

Cash transactions above $10,000 and anything that may be considered suspicious must be reported to Fintrac, but the data disclosed to The Province showed that only two such reports were made between January 2012 and May 2015, while records from financial institutions show over 1.25 million.

There were also more than 8,000 suspicious transactions, but only five were reported to Fintrac. B.C. realtors say that they do not generally handle cash transactions, which is why reporting numbers are low.

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