British Columbia wants some help when it comes to tracking cash purchases of luxury vehicles.
When Attorney General David Eby appears before a federal committee looking at amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act on Tuesday, he will ask for a toll to track high-priced vehicle transactions.
“Through agencies like the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Revenue Canada and the federal RCMP, the Government of Canada has a major role to play in combating money laundering,” said Eby in a statement. “British Columbia’s insight on this pressing issue will allow the federal committee to better understand the unique challenges and impacts that we face on this side of the Rockies. We must all be better equipped to take action in the fight against criminal gangs profiting from crime.”
Currently, there is no tracking by government of cash purchases for luxury items. Vancouver is seen as the country’s luxury car capital and the federal government could decide to target the problem based on geography. But to avoid buyers just going to other markets, another option is to require reporting for any cash purchase higher than $10,000.
Former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German has provided Eby with a series of recommendations before his appearance in Ottawa on Tuesday. German has been hired by the B.C. government to review anti-money laundering practices in B.C. casinos.
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Eby will tell the committee that information sharing should be improved between law enforcement and FINTRAC.
FINTRAC is Canada’s financial intelligence unit and facilitates the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering. Right now, law enforcement officials do not work with FINTRAC, meaning those agencies do not know what information each other has.
British Columbia is also calling on police to have better resources to deal with potential leads provided by FINTRAC.
“In 2012, the RCMP eliminated its national Proceeds of Crime and Commercial Crime Sections, in favour of a new task force orientation to investigations,” reads a statement from the Attorney General’s office. “Although the RCMP is rebuilding its financial crime expertise, the gap in federal policing in this area between 2012 and 2017 shifted responsibility for white-collar crime to provincial and municipal police forces, which generally did not have the resources or expertise to take on these complex files.”
German has already recommended gaming service providers complete a source of funds declaration for cash deposits of $10,000 or more. A final report will be delivered to government by the end of this week.