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New B.C. law to target source of ‘flashy’ wealth in money laundering

by News Desk
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Instead of a presumption of innocence, under the Inexplicable Wealth Order, the alleged perpetrator is responsible for explaining where the money to purchase his property came from.

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British Columbia plans to introduce new laws that will allow authorities to seize homes and luxury cars if the owner cannot account for the source of the payment.

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New Prime Minister David Eby announced over the weekend that legislation would be introduced this spring to create an unexplained wealth order targeting criminal proceeds.

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Such measures have been implemented in several jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, since 2017.

The Unexplained Wealth Order is BC’s Recommended Tool Cullen Commission on Money Laundering We released our findings this summer, releasing the 2019 BC Government Commissioned Report on Money Laundering in Real Estate.

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James Cohen, executive director of Transparency International Canada, a global anti-corruption advocacy group, said the effectiveness of the inexplicable Wealth Order has a lot to do with how new laws are created. said it was on.

Given concerns about privacy and personal intrusion, it would be helpful to target higher crimes and make them civil rather than criminal, he noted.

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“We definitely have guidance from the Cohen Commission on how to proceed with this. said Cohen.

Instead of a presumption of innocence, under the Inexplicable Wealth Order, the alleged perpetrator is responsible for explaining where the money to purchase his property came from.

If the alleged perpetrator fails to provide information and refute the presumption that the property was purchased with illicit funds, the property will be forfeited.

James Cohen, executive director of Transparency International Canada, a global anti-corruption advocacy group, said the effectiveness of the inexplicable Wealth Order has a lot to do with how new laws are created. said it was on.
James Cohen, executive director of Transparency International Canada, a global anti-corruption advocacy group, said the effectiveness of the inexplicable Wealth Order has a lot to do with how new laws are created. said it was on. PNG

The Cullen Commission Unexplained Wealth Orders Used Only in Civil Lawsuits for confiscation of property. Information provided in response to orders from unexplained wealthy individuals cannot be used in criminal prosecution.

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The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), of which Eby was president before turning to politics, Oppose the dictates of unexplained wealth.

The BCCLA said it is not in favor of taking a tougher approach to crime, including the introduction of unexplained property control orders, aggressive pursuit of civil forfeitures, enhanced policing, and broader information gathering and sharing. rice field. Stephen Chin and Jessica Magonette of the BCCLA said, “These aggressive measures undermine constitutional rights, have not been adequately tested and would be costly to implement.

On Sunday, Eby said the introduction of the Unexplained Wealth Order was intended to remove the profit incentives for organized crime.

He acknowledged that the proposal was a departure from existing civil forfeiture rules in B.C. and Canada, and said he had no doubt that the new law would be challenged in court.

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But he doesn’t want British Columbia to become a place where organized crime is welcomed, money laundering is tolerated, and people flaunt the luxuries they’ve earned through the misery of exploiting people on the streets. “We want to send a strong message,” Eby said.

There was an unexplained wealth order limited success in the UK Several attempts to seize luxury London properties owned by residents of Central Asian countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union have failed.

reached a settlement In one case, a businessman from Leeds Having an affair with a convicted murderer, he agreed to hand over 45 properties and other assets totaling $15 million.

and Forum on Tuesday’s Unexplained Wealth Order A panelist hosted by the Anti-Corruption Law Program at the University of British Columbia said how the unexplained wealth order is constructed matters and cannot stand alone to combat money laundering. rice field.

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Jeffrey Simser, one of the panelists and former legal director of the Ontario Department of Justice, said, “If you pass[the unexplained wealthy people law]and don’t give law enforcement resources, it will fail, It will fail spectacularly.” Universal.

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