Yep, tracking dirty money, and show me the laundered money …
First thing first,
Mirrored ceiling makes this bookstore appear infinite in Hangzhou, China
According Global News,
Give us your criminal, your corrupt, your anonymous masses.
Canada is sending to the world with its “doors wide open” approach to money laundering in real estate, says a new report by Transparency International (TI), a Berlin-based organization that works to stop corruption around the world.
One of the biggest reasons why it’s easy for illicit money to enter Canadian real estate is that it’s not difficult to hide the identities of people who buy homes in the first place.
Canadian law does not require non-financial professionals doing real estate deals to “identify beneficial owners when conducting due diligence on customers.”
In Canada, you have to do due diligence or submit suspicious or large cash transaction reports if you’re a real estate agent, a broker, a developer or an accountant.
You don’t have to do that if you’re a LAWYER, a law firm or a notary from Quebec.
“Given their roles in real estate closings, this is a major loophole,” the report said.
According to “Show me the laundered money”, tracking dirty money is proving difficult.
As millions of dollars come into the housing market. Governments are finding it hard to track even legitimate foreign purchasers when making rules to cool the housing market, but when the money is laundered the murkiness is by design.
And one of the biggest impediments in tracking the flow, according to many critics of our current regime, is lawyers. “Lawyers, they’re the biggest problem with money laundering in this country,” Kim Marsh, the former head of the RCMP’s International Organized Crime Investigation Unit.
Similarly in “Tracking dirty money”,
An evaluation by the international Financial Action Task Force in 2016 identified the absence of lawyers and Quebec notaries as a “significant loophole” in Canada’s anti-money-laundering monitoring system.
The problem is further complicated with a 2015 judgment of the Supreme Court. It ended a 14-year-long legal saga between the federal government and Canada’s law societies when it ruled that making lawyers subject to Canada’s money-laundering and terrorist-financing act risked violating solicitor-client privilege.
It simply means efforts to track dirty money is being hampred by our legal system itself. The law needs to change so that the so called “solicitor-client privilege” be made an non-issue when it comes to matters of public interest. As it is now, the law is outdated as clearly demonstrated above – The lawyers themselves are impeding efforts track dirty money.
Canada’s Criminal Code defines a money launderer as anyone who “uses, transfers the possession of, sends or delivers to any person or place, transports, transmits, alters, disposes of or otherwise deals with, in any manner and by any means, any property or any proceeds of any property with intent to conceal or convert that property or those proceeds, knowing or believing that all or a part of that property or of those proceeds was obtained or derived directly or indirectly as a result of a) the commission in Canada of a designated offence or b) an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted a designated offence.”
But lawyers insist only transactions involving physical cash qualify as money laundering.
“Money laundering, to me, is taking illicit cash, putting it through some accounts so you can get clean money in a bank account. It starts with cash,” said Herman Van Ommen, president of the Law Society of British.
However, experts in tracking down money laundering say the days of gym bags full of cash being brought into a bank branch have given way to much more sophisticated techniques. Those seeking to launder money need professionals such as lawyers, says Denis Meunier, former deputy director of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre and a member of Transparency International. “As they move up the ladder . . . they need help. Who is going to help them? Professionals. People who know how to do it.”
To sum it all up in one sentence – Our system is broken.
The Law Society of B.C.’s ability to police money laundering and offshore real-estate investment is being questioned after a lawyer was found guilty of professional misconduct for nearly $26 million in suspicious transactions.
Lawyer Paul Jaffe said the disciplinary decision against his client Donald Gurney imposes standards and expectations of conduct for the profession that may be impossible to meet.
The panel criticized Gurney for being evasive and ignoring “a sea of red flags” in four questionable transactions that saw $25,845,489.87 flow through his professional trust account between May and November 2013. He reputedly took a tenth of one per cent as a fee.
Jaffe insisted that his fellow lawyer, a 49-year veteran of the bar, was a victim of the legal regulator’s desire to show it was dealing with fears about foreign investment and money laundering in the overheated real-estate market… Vancouver Sun
Well, perhaps we should look south for an idea how to fix our legal system -Imagine the case is under the U.S. jurisdictions, records indicated Donald Gurney is likely to face imprisonment for “professional negilgence” of such magnitude.
Beautiful great room in Vancouver, Canada. The unique decorative wall adds texture and pattern … Made possible with dirty money?
Money laundering is the process used to disguise the source of money or assets derived from criminal activity. Profit-motivated crimes span a variety of illegal activities from drug trafficking and smuggling to fraud, extortion and corruption. The scope of criminal proceeds is significant – estimated at some $590 billion to $1.5 trillion (U.S.) worldwide each year.
Money laundering facilitates corruption and can destabilize the economies of susceptible countries. It also compromises the integrity of legitimate financial systems and institutions, and gives organized crime the funds it needs to conduct further criminal activities. It is a global problem, and the techniques used are numerous and can be very sophisticated. Technological advances in e-commerce, the global diversification of financial markets and new financial product developments provide further opportunities to launder illegal profit and obscure the money trail leading back to the underlying crime.
While the techniques for laundering funds vary considerably and are often highly intricate, there are generally three stages in the process:
- Placement: involves placing the proceeds of crime in the financial system;
- Layering: involves converting the proceeds of crime into another form and creating complex layers of financial transactions to disguise the audit trail and the source and ownership of funds (e.g., the buying and selling of stocks, commodities or property); and,
- Integration: involves placing the laundered proceeds back in the economy under a veil of legitimacy.
FINTRAC’s financial intelligence plays a critical role in helping to combat money laundering. This financial intelligence is used to assist money laundering and terrorist financing investigations in the context of a wider variety of criminal investigations, where the origins of the suspected criminal proceeds are linked to drug trafficking, fraud, tax evasion, corruption, and other criminal offences. With these types of crimes, there are victims, there is often violence, and there is real social harm.