Over the past year, there has been quite a number of money laundering schemes in the Vancouver area. In an effort to crack down on money laundering, a motion has been unanimously passed and approved by Vancouver's City Council which will allow for better tracking of municipal tax payments.
On Tuesday, January 29, a motion entitled Deterring and Preventing Money Laundering and the Business of Organized Crime in the City of Vancouver was submitted by Councillor Melissa De Genova.
This motion calls for the city to work alongside the province and law enforcement agencies to “prevent money laundering that could be directly or indirectly linked to businesses operating with or without a business license in the City of Vancouver.”
Just yesterday, the motion was passed unanimously in order to support efforts to combat organized crime and money laundering in the Vancouver area. As locals know, this is a battle that law enforcement has been battling for some time.
DYK- City of #Vancouver currently takes ALL $ CASH $ payments for taxes, fees, licenses & fines-incl. Empty Homes Tax & Cannabis licenses (some over 100k!)?— Melissa De Genova (@MelissaDeGenova) January 25, 2019
No FINTRAC, no ID required. My Council motion RE deterring money laundering + organized crime calls for change! #vanpoli pic.twitter.com/c0GizyFEsc
This motion will allow the City to require “voluntary stringent financial reporting.” This can include requiring audited financial statements from businesses, or individuals when paying business licenses, taxes or any other type of fee that is charged by the City.
The motion also states that these audits can be required from businesses or properties in areas where there is a higher chance of attracting money laundering and/or organized crime.
Happy to see unanimous support for @MelissaDeGenova's motion calling for enhanced financial tracking of payments made for taxes & services. Grateful as well for the inclusion of my amendment looking at the role of unregulated cryptocurrency ATMs in #MoneyLaundering #vanpoli pic.twitter.com/Yxrn2QeGTj— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) January 30, 2019
Motions like this are important when attempting to reduce money laundering crimes, especially in casinos. It wasn’t long ago that a former Canadian ambassador was being accused of not declaring all his investments properly and laundering through a casino.
In fact, money laundering in casinos has been such a problem that RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter German issued a Dirt Money report stating that over $100 million has been cleaned in B.C. casinos alone.
Thanks Vancouver City Council 4 UNANIMOUSLY supporting my motion-deterring & preventing money laundering + organized crime @cityofvancouver Looking forward to recommendations from staff w/ input from @VancouverPD . Time 2 stop payment of taxes + fines w/ bags of cash! #vanpoli pic.twitter.com/wBNqH4ZoD9— Melissa De Genova (@MelissaDeGenova) January 30, 2019
Following the 11-0 unanimous vote, Mayor Kennedy Stewart took to Twitter to showcase his satisfaction with the turnout.
De Genova, the Councillor who brought forward the motion, also took to social media to display her enthusiasm by tweeting it was “time 2 stop payment of taxes + fines w/ bags of cash!”