Luxury vehicle market to launder money

Organized crime using B.C. luxury car market to launder money

Organized crime using B.C. luxury car market to launder money

The review found auto dealers in B.C. reporting that individuals were bringing bags of money or orchestrating multiple small global wire transfers to different accounts to buy cars. Cash purchases are not illegal and luxury vehicle dealers are not required to report large transactions to FinTRAC.

The report also uncovered a complicated luxury-vehicle export scheme involving hundreds of "straw buyers".

German says, he believes some of that money went directly into the pockets of gangsters.

Information on real estate has yet to be released, as the NDP cabinet mulls a public inquiry into money laundering in B.C. following extensive media reports on organized criminal activity at provincially regulated casinos.

The report claims worldwide students, or those "appearing" to be students, make up a large portion of straw buyers (and "super rich Asian students" are also a big segment of purchasers in the luxury auto resale market, according to some police investigators).

"It's a recipe for exactly what's happened here: Vancouver becoming North America's luxury auto capital generally, and perhaps since 2013, claiming North America's luxury vehicle export capital title as well".

Eby said the B.C. government is examining how to close the provincial sales tax loophole that allows grey-market luxury straw buyers to claim the tax rebates. In 2016, that number jumped to 3,674.

The second report does not find how much is being laundered through luxury cars in B.C., and German says it would be nearly impossible to put a number to it.

Attorney General David Eby says the government is looking at ways of cracking down on the scheme.

Eby said the Ministry of Finance is reviewing the tax refund program and preparing more regulations of the luxury vehicle sector.

Eby said that report, along with German's findings about the real estate sector, should be released in the coming days.

The province has forwarded allegations made in the report to police, and the finance ministry is reviewing them. "We are also preparing plans for regulation of the luxury auto sector", Eby said. "Our government is committed to stamping out money laundering and the damage caused by organized crime - and building an economy that works for people in BC", he added.

During a news conference Tuesday, Attorney General David Eby noted the spike in exports of luxury cars corresponds with the "exponential" growth of suspicious cash transactions at casinos and also with the explosion of the real estate market. The full report will be released soon.

Eby said at a news conference April 8 this discovery explains why so few money laundering cases have been investigated or prosecuted in the province despite an worldwide reputation for such activities and a high level of media and public interest.

The report is one of two commissioned by the province in September amid what the government said was "widespread concern about B.C.'s reputation as a haven for money laundering".

German said his report does not quantify the extent of money laundering in the luxury auto sector, adding it may be impossible to do so.

It's impossible to put a dollar figure on the amount being laundered through the luxury auto sector, German said. Government has released sections of German's report pertaining to luxury cars and horse racing.

This latest instalment tells a tale of recruits used to purchase luxury vehicles on behalf of someone else, have them shipped overseas and then have the buyers collect the provincial tax rebate for doing so. Mr.

Some vehicle dealers have accepted large sums of cash from suspicious individuals with unknown sources of income, to pay for luxury vehicles.

In the luxury vehicle market, "there is no financial reporting of large cash purchases, no oversight of global bank wire transfers and no apparent investigation or enforcement", he added.

The Province has seen a dramatic increase in the uptake in the provincial sales tax (PST) rebate program for vehicles destined for sale overseas. The role of a straw buyer is to insulate the true purchasers from contact with the seller, the report says. "German's findings, as well as vehicle exporters' use of the PST refund program", he explained.

24% of luxury vehicles stolen in B.C. are not recovered by police, compared to 18% for all vehicles in B.C. But that team is funded mostly by the B.C. Lottery Corp. and handles all aspects of illegal gaming and criminal activity around gaming.

The report also looked at horse racing but found no significant evidence of money laundering. In other parts of the world, horse racing has been used to launder the proceeds of crime through cash bets, purchasing race horses, race fixing and insurance fraud.