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

Just Posted

Island farm stands opening for business with COVID-19 restrictions

Growers hopeful shoppers will support local farms

French fries to juicy tomatoes, rock art brings joy to walkers in Victoria

James Bay yard filled with painted rocks delights all ages

Duncan veteran recalls war’s end

War changed Jack Bridges’ life forever

Vancouver Island’s long road to recovery will have a few bumps

Some things will never be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic, local experts say

West Coast resorts cautiously prepare to welcome tourists again

“We need to get the tourist economy in our communities back up and running.”

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Incoming: Income tax deadlines arrive

2019 individual tax returns are due June 1, June 15 for self-employed individuals

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Greater Victoria guide dog walk turns to virtual physical challenge

Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is May 31 with an online twist

Tour de Victoria postpones 10th annual ride to 2021

Ride that draws more than 3,000 cyclists to Greater Victoria had been set for August

Most Read