City of Vancouver officially calls for public inquiry into money laundering
The City of Vancouver is officially calling for a public inquiry on money laundering.
On Wednesday, councillors unanimously backed a motion proposed by One City Coun. Christine Boyle demanding the probe.
The motion calls on the provincial government to launch the inquiry once Peter German’s latest money laundering probe returns its final report, expected in March.
It also calls on the mayor to write letters to the premier, minister of finance and attorney general affirming the city’s position.
WATCH: Whistleblowers allege B.C. casinos knew about money laundering
The motion goes on to suggest that the terms of reference for the inquiry specifically include links between money laundering and the real estate market and opioid overdose crisis.
Public pressure has been building for a public inquiry into the issue. On Monday, Richmond passed a similar motion and also called for increased funding for law enforcement to combat organized crime.
Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West has also been vocally backing the idea, and recent polling has found that a money laundering inquiry has widespread backing from every demographic and region of B.C.
Attorney General David Eby has not ruled out an inquiry, but has raised concerns that one could affect ongoing efforts of police and prosecutors to convict accused money launderers.
WATCH: John Horgan on whether a public inquiry into money laundering is a good idea
On Tuesday, Premier John Horgan said the province would not consider an inquiry until Peter German’s second report, along with a Ministry of Finance probe led by former deputy attorney general Maureen Maloney, are complete.
“Maybe a public inquiry is warranted, but let’s see what we get back from the two eminent people that we have already looking at this before we dive into years and years of hearings and mountains and mountains of legal bills,” he said.
Investigations by Global News have revealed that up to $1 billion a year could have been pumped into Vancouver-area real estate by organized crime, and uncovered alleged links to the fentanyl trade.
A Global News investigation has also revealed whistleblowers, who allege that casinos and regulators turned a blind eye to suspicious cash transactions in B.C. casinos.
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