As money laundering remains top of mind for politicians and British Columbians alike, the province announced measures Tuesday in order to protect post-secondary schools from becoming targets for dirty money.
— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) May 28, 2019
Beginning immediately, public and private post-secondary institutions will no longer be allowed to accept large cash payments from students, Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark told reporters at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria.
Institutions without a policy on accepting cash for tuition are also being asked to develop one.
This marks the latest move by the NDP government to quash money laundering in the province and follows a May 9th report by former deputy RCMP commissioner Peter German, which estimated that more than $7 billion in dirty money was laundered through B.C. in 2018.
Although that report focused on how real estate, luxury cars and horse racing are implicated by criminals cleaning dirty money, German also identified alleged reports of money laundering in other vulnerable sectors, including the province’s post-secondary system.
“Peter German has advised that people are paying thousands of dollars in suspicious cash for multiple semesters in advance and then seeking refunds by cheque,” Attorney General David Eby said in a news release.
“Our post-secondary institutions must not be used to launder money, and we are asking them to review their policies to put a stop to it.”
B.C. is home to 25 public post-secondary schools where 437,500 students are registered, as well as 342 private career training institutions and private degree-granting institutions where 71,000 students attend.