Large cash purchases, ‘lifestyle audits’ to fight money laundering gain support in B.C.

Angus Reid Institute found that a majority of Canadians support anti-money laundering initiatives

It appears that Canadians in every region of the country believe money laundering is a major problem in their province, according to a new survey, but many are indecisive on just how much action should be taken.

Sixty per cent of the 1,500 polled in an Angus Reid Institute survey, released Tuesday, said they support a nationwide ban on cash purchases over $10,000. Among B.C. respondents, 75 per cent supported the initiative.

Fifty-five per cent said they support lifestyle audits, where governments investigate individuals who “seem to be living far beyond their means: based on their income level and purchases. In B.C., that support increases to 62 per cent.

ALSO READ: RCMP says its stretched thin on B.C. money laundering

Revelations that an RCMP official charged with breaching a Canadian official secrets law was overseeing a Russian money-laundering probe are refocusing national attention on Canada’s role in international money laundering networks.

In B.C., an expert panel estimated in May that the amount of money laundered through the Canadian economy may approach $50 billion, with some experts suggesting that number is conservative.

Since the inquiry some recommendations have been put into action, including universities banning tuition payed fully in cash. The City of Vancouver also no longer accepts any types of cash payments above $10,000.

READ MORE: B.C. estimates $7 billion laundered in 2018, $5 billion in real estate

More than 70 per cent of residents outside of B.C. say their own province should also complete an inquiry of its own.

The federal election campaign has not yet put a focus on anti-money laundering initiatives, but the survey shows a considerable appetite for whichever party is elected in October to pursue the matter more.

The 2019 federal budget proposed several anti-money laundering initiatives, with investments of approximately $200 million over five years as well as additional funding. However, nearly half of those surveyed said they’re dissatisfied with federal government efforts.

One initiative, to get rid of the $50 and $100 bill, remains firmed opposed, despite some experts suggesting that discontinuing large bills would hamper money laundering operations. In B.C., 15 per cent of respondents said the $100 bill should be discontinued, while four per cent supported nixing the $50 bill.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Abbotsford church posts Rosary prayer video for doctors and nurses

St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church supports frontline healthcare workers online with video

The Reach Gallery in Abbotsford offers virtual exhibits and learning activities

New online resources developed during period of self-isolation

Abbotsford citizens rally for struggling young family with donations amid pandemic

Expecting mother reached out online for help, community response brought her to tears

VIDEO: Surprise drive-by birthday held for Abbotsford teenager’s 13th

Friends wave from vehicles to adhere to social distancing

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19

Abbotsford man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

COVID-19: Fraser Valley crafters are busy sewing cotton masks for health-care workers and others

One Chilliwack woman has made 125 masks so far, and is still going strong

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read