While money laundering continues to be an “internationally recognized” criminal issue in BC, a report conducted by a former senior RCMP officer has found that a huge lack of dedicated staff on both the federal and provincial level is partly to blame.
Former senior RCMP officer Peter German conducted the report for the provincial government to help determine why only a few money laundering cases have been investigated and prosecuted, despite its widespread presence.
One reason, German discovered, is because BC does not have a single federal RCMP officer 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 in a statement.
“What is happening is nothing.”
But the federal government is not the only one to blame.
Another equally alarming reason why money laundering investigations are so scarce in BC is because the province’s dedicated anti-money laundering RCMP team is vastly understaffed.
There are currently 5 members of the team when there should be 26, says German, which is less than a quarter of the recommended staff.
In the meantime, Eby is calling for the federal government to do more for the province.
“Every single dollar in the federal budget for anti-money laundering needs to come to B.C. yesterday,” said Eby in a statement. “Police experts need to be recruited from across Canada for a specialized team that can start now.”
“The money launderers here are already experts, they’re already rich and now we know they’re better resourced.”
The provincial government says that money laundering is “widespread” in BC and “internationally recognized”, especially in Metro Vancouver.
German’s full report was delivered to the federal government on March 31st, and is undergoing a thorough review. Named parties are expected to respond after the review is completed and will ensure ongoing investigations are not compromised.