There are currently no dedicated federal RCMP officers in B.C. investigating criminal money laundering, according to the latest report into money laundering in the province by Peter German.
As part of his review, German, a former senior RCMP officer, was asked to examine why so few money laundering cases have been investigated or prosecuted in B.C., despite the widespread and internationally recognized laundering activities taking place in Metro Vancouver.
In partial answer to the question, German has reported to the province that there are currently no federal RCMP officers dedicated to money laundering investigations.
“We have accelerated the release of this portion of the report so that the federal government and the public are aware of what is happening to police the international crime groups laundering money through our provincial economy,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “What is happening is nothing.”
German advises the province that the RCMP team assigned to deal with anti-money laundering, within the Federal Serious Organized Crime branch, is more than three-quarters unstaffed (currently five of 26 employees), and that the five remaining officers are tasked with referring potential criminal cases to B.C.’s Civil Forfeiture Office.
German found that the only RCMP resources dedicated to anti-money laundering investigations within B.C. are provincially funded or operate under the provincial policing agreement.
“Every single dollar in the federal budget for anti-money laundering needs to come to B.C. yesterday,” Eby said. “Police experts need to be recruited from across Canada for a specialized team that can start now. There’s not enough time to start from scratch. The money launderers here are already experts, they’re already rich and now we know they’re better resourced.”
German delivered his report to government on March 31, 2019, and a thorough review is underway prior to its full release to ensure ongoing investigations are not compromised and named parties have an opportunity to respond. The remaining chapters will be released later this spring.
BC Liberal MLA Mike Morris welcomes the latest report on money laundering from Dr. Peter German, and says the time is now for government to act.
“Attorney General David Eby has wasted enough time playing politics with this significant issue. British Columbians want action, not more innuendo from the Attorney General,” said Morris. “If the names, home addresses and license plate numbers of these individuals are known— where are the arrests and prosecutions? If the Civil Forfeiture Office can impound criminals’ vehicles— why hasn’t that happened?”
Morris says the buck stops with the minister, and so far he has little to show for his efforts.