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

Castlegar doctor’s offices remain open for phone, video and in-person appointments

Doctors concerned people may be neglecting health concerns for fear of catching the COVID-19

Castlegar hospice director says COVID-19 measures make serving the dying heartbreaking

Social distancing brings big challenges to offering support

Over 440 complaints issued in 3 months about Central Kootenay governments: B.C. Ombudsperson

Most common complaints were about decisions and bylaw enforcement in local governments

Selkirk Saints add two key players to roster for upcoming season

Goaltender Jake Anthony and forward Carson Erhardt have officially joined the team

Selkirk College gives back during COVID-19 crisis

Staff have been delivering grocery items and medical supplies to those in need during pandemic

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Most Read