Commissioner Austin Cullen, back centre, listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in B.C. in Vancouver, on Monday, February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Acceptance of cash deposits rare in real estate, B.C. money laundering inquiry hears

B.C. Real Estate Association: Working group urged mortgage brokers to only accept verifiable funds

The organization representing real estate agents in B.C. has told a provincial inquiry into money laundering that its members have only ever accepted modest cash deposits in rare circumstances.

A lawyer for the B.C. Real Estate Association says the sector struck a working group in response to two government-commissioned reports last year that found the housing market had become a hotbed for dirty money.

Chris Weafer says the working group recommended that mortgage brokers and others in the real estate industry should only accept funds that are verifiable through Canadian financial institutions.

However, Weafer says an analysis shows that an acceptance of cash deposits in B.C. real estate has never been common practice unless there were extenuating circumstances, and even then amounts were modest.

Kevin Westell, representing the Canadian Bar Association and Criminal Defence Advocacy Society, told the inquiry today that lawyers should not be required to report to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre, or Fintrac.

He says such a requirement would violate crucial solicitor-client privilege, compromise the independence of the bar and add to a “disturbing” trend of the B.C. government undermining the work of lawyers.

READ MORE: Money laundering has warped economy and fuelled opioid crisis, B.C. tells inquiry

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

money laundering

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health to use Saanich recreation centre to support pandemic needs

Unconfirmed reports say the centre will be used as a COVID-19 testing site

Tents, sleeping bags donated to Our Place from local Victoria store

Robinson’s Outdoor Store received funds from PwC Canada to make the donation

Victoria police arrest man in stolen Jubilee Hospital worker’s car

Suspect found in car with drugs, stolen property and weapons

Colwood looks at reopening garbage cans as litter, dog poop pile up in parks

City staff are now being redirected from priority infrastructure to picking up litter

Emergency crews respond to crash on Carey Road in Saanich

Traffic is flowing but southbound lane is partially blocked

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, total cases top 1,000

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Nanaimo dentists donate 4,000 masks, 25,000 gloves to health-care peers

Nanaimo District Dental Society collects items for front-line workers during COVID-19 pandemic

No laws in B.C. to force businesses to offer refunds, even during a pandemic

Black Press Media talks to Consumer Protection BC on how to navigate during COVID-19

COVID-19 essential workers can apply for B.C. pre-school child care

Parent referral opens, providers offered emergency funding

Most abiding by COVID-19 rules, back fines, arrests of those who aren’t: poll

But 64 per cent said they’ve personally witnessed people not respecting the measures

Walkers, grocery store customers courteous with physical distancing in B.C.

Some cyclists also acknowledge each other and walkers as well on a wide trail

Most Read