A senior Canadian police officer says he is concerned about trade-based money laundering (TBML) through the real estate sector.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) chief superintendent, Keith Finn, says he is particularly concerned about the money laundering of drug proceeds through condominium leasing.

Price increases

The superintendent who operates in the Canadian province of British Colombia says “the biggest challenge” of organised criminals is how to launder proceeds.

“Whenever you have a quick increase in prices there is an opportunity there for the criminals among us to use the purchase and disposal [of houses] as a means to launder their money,” he says.

Federal support

British Colombia’s attorney general David Eby agrees with Finn, and explains that the international nature of TBML means that effective enforcement requires federal as well as provincial efforts.

“We need the federal government involved to help us connect the dots with things that are happening internationally and to provide those resources to the RCMP and the Canada Revenue Agency,” says Eby.

US and China

Eby also says that a recent high profile TBML case involving a US criminal leasing Canadian real estate is unusual.

“Usually we are talking about China, but here it’s the United States,” he says.