If there was ever a headline to give you equal parts anger and fear, this is certainly one to do the job for those living in the metropolitan, beautiful, pricey Vancouver. Recently, this city has been all over the news due to the fact that has astronomically high prices for homes and all sorts of interest in the real estate that is there – much of which is from overseas.
New data has come to light now, about why that foreign interest is so high right now. It stems to the fact that the real estate market is being used for money laundering, which means all kinds of trouble for everyone involved in the entire real estate market. Here are the details.
The money laundering is believed to be happening within the legal world of Vancouver. Since legalities are needed all throughout the dealings of real estate, it is easy enough for those who mean harm to smuggle the money out into foreign countries. It is believed that the main country that is benefiting from this scam is China. This is a problem for Canadians as well as Canadian officials because, as of right now, there is no extradition treaty between the two countries, meaning that the foreigners stealing the money will get away with it without a problem at all.
The world of real estate is also a simple place to launder money because the amounts are so large that some can be taken away and it is harder to notice. Shrouding from the public eye, it takes a while for officials to catch on that it’s happening.
It doesn’t seem to matter, though, that it’s happening, because right now there is simply nothing that can be done to curb it. Corrupt Chinese government officials are the ones accused of laundering the money and since they are safely within Chinese borders, no charges can be made, and there are no crimes to be punished. This is a smart and infuriating crime that is being committed that impacts the entire real estate market. No area in greater Vancouver is safe, not even the Tricity area, not even Port Moody real estate is safe.
There is very little information being processed back and forth between China and Canada about this issue and Canadian funds on anti-crime in the financial sector are already allotted to other things, so what little there is in the budge to tackle this issue is not enough to make a huge difference in the big scheme of things.
Canadian officials are frustrated with the lack of progress in this case and say that passing information back and forth – essentially, make it widely available to other countries, and vice versa – is critical to pushing ahead on this project, but so far, that open communication has not happened, so the money laundering is still happening at large within Vancouver real estate, and it is clear that Canada’s ranking in terms of cracking down on financial crime is starting to slip.
While the crime continues onward, Canadians are turning their attention to doing what they can within their own borders both officially and unofficially. They are hoping that this will instill confidence and communication between countries so that this money laundering can be put to rest and the real estate world – and its reputation – can recover from this financial disaster.
Prices based on MLS Vancouver.