May 21, 2019

B.C. government to announce decision on money laundering inquiry Wednesday morning

B.C. government to announce decision on money laundering inquiry Wednesday morning


Premier John Horgan’s cabinet will announce the long-awaited decision on a public inquiry into money laundering on Wednesday morning.

Horgan will speak to the media at 10:30 a.m. PT. His cabinet is meeting this morning to discuss the final decision.

Horgan has been torn on whether to call a public inquiry into widespread money laundering at B.C. casinos and in the housing and luxury car markets. Originally, the premier was concerned about the process getting bogged down and lawyers getting rich.

WATCH: (Aired May 10) B.C. premier hinting at money laundering public inquiry





“My experience over the years looking at public inquiries is that it is a growth industry for the legal profession,” Horgan said in September 2018.

“I have spoken to previous premiers about the value of public inquiries and I have had a mixed response, to be honest with you.”


READ MORE:
‘It’s blood money’: Calls for inquiry mount as report reveals $7.4B laundered in B.C. last year

But recently Horgan has changed his tune.

In August, Eby started asking for B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson’s help to waive cabinet privilege on documents from the previous government related to money laundering. The current government is still waiting.

A public inquiry could give the inquiry commission access to those documents, and would allow the public to judge whether the previous government made the correct decisions.


READ MORE:
B.C. Attorney General David Eby says ‘huge interest’ exists for money laundering public inquiry

“We asked to have any of the information they had produced, and they refused to do so,” Horgan said last week.

“The decisions of the former government are sealed for a period of time, and the new government does not have access. I believe the public should be able to see what the former government knew and when they knew it. An inquiry would assist in getting that information.”

The provincial cabinet has been reviewing reports from Peter German and Maureen Maloney, which found $7.4 billion in dirty money was laundered through British Columbia last year.

WATCH: (Aired May 9) Government response to money laundering report





The twin reports released last Thursday revealed that $5 billion of that money was funneled through B.C.’s real estate market, driving already sky-high home prices up by at least five per cent.

What is being considered is whether an inquiry can proceed at the same as both prosecutions and improving rules to prevent future money laundering from happening.


READ MORE:
German Report finds substantial money laundering in B.C.’s luxury car market

British Columbia’s continued delays on opening a public inquiry into casino money laundering is proof that the issue must be addressed out in the open, outspoken Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West said two weeks ago.

A series of Global News reports this week brought forward startling new allegations that the trouble with organized crime groups laundering money in B.C. casinos dates back to the 1990s.


READ MORE:
‘Pissed off’: How Port Coquitlam’s mayor feels with no money laundering inquiry amid new allegations

That’s when the NDP government introduced baccarat tables and raised betting limits, which were raised further when the BC Liberals took power in 2001.

West said recent allegations show that the truth about who knew what and when needs to be exposed as soon as possible.

WATCH: (Aired May 3) B.C. mayor Brad West calls for public inquiry into money laundering





“What I am is pissed off,” he said. “Again, what you have here is clear evidence that a lot of people knew what was going on… and the people responsible for doing something about it, to address the issue, didn’t do anything.

“We need to get this issue out of the hands of the politicians and into the hands of a public inquiry so we can put an end to this nightmare that has been inflicting our province for far too long.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





Source link

About The Author

Related posts