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HomeMiscellanytheBreaker.news Podcast: Inquiry hears more than 36% of Canada’s organized crime groups operate in B.C.

theBreaker.news Podcast: Inquiry hears more than 36% of Canada’s organized crime groups operate in B.C.

For the week of June 14, 2020.

The expert testimony phase of the Cullen Commission inquiry into money laundering in British Columbia continued last week. Hear from two top criminology professors who weighed-in on a key anti-money laundering measure.

Transparency International has campaigned for a beneficial ownership registry in a bid to stop criminals from hiding who owns what. The B.C. NDP government is going to roll-out a beneficial ownership registry of real estate, through the Land Title and Survey Authority. But it wants to charge a $5 fee per search.

Professors Michael Levi (left) and Peter Reuter at the Cullen Commission.

“If we’re charging people for it, it’s sort of counterproductive,” said Prof. Peter Reuter of the University of Maryland.

Said Prof. Michael Levi of Cardiff University: “A public registry that is online and available to the public shouldn’t have any automatically any extra costs attached to it, in which case the argument for charging is weak. There is not much point in having a public register if it’s so expensive that people can’t use it.”

Hear the head of the RCMP’s criminal intelligence service, who told the inquiry that there are 1,850 known organized crime groups in Canada, 680 of which operate in B.C.

Chief Supt. Robert Gilchrist told the inquiry that B.C. and Ontario have high level networks of professional money launderers using underground banks, trade based money laundering, casinos and real estate to launder hundreds of millions of dollars gained through proceeds of crime.

RCMP’s Robert Gilchrist (Cullen Commission)

Meanwhile, a special committee pondering improvements to B.C.’s private sector access and privacy law, the Public Information Protection Act, heard from the head of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association that the law is more than a decade out of date and “a tweak isn’t going to fix this.”

Hear from Jason Woywada, who said citizens expect increased privacy protection and businesses are at risk without adequate laws.

Plus commentary and Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest headlines.

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