Vancouver International Airport is the major port of entry for millions in hidden cash being smuggled into North America by mostly Chinese citizens, a federal document investigation by The Province reveals.
And according to money laundering investigators, the amounts identified in Canada Border Service Agency cash seizure data, obtained by The Province under freedom of information law, is only the tip of the iceberg.
Experts said Vancouver appears to be targeted by Chinese citizens because Canada’s forgiving border laws allow seized cash to be returned for minimal fines. As well, permissive property investment rules and loose reporting compliance in the real estate industry make Vancouver homes the perfect vehicle for illicit offshore investment.
“A lot of the illicit money coming into Canada from Chinese citizens is laundered through real estate in Vancouver,” Hayley Labbé, a senior forensic investigator with the firm MNP LLP, told The Province.