Multiple embarrassing money laundering incidents in British Columbia have moved provincial officials to set up a registry that will collect ownership information on new condominium developments and attempt to remediate past suspicious real estate transactions. The initiative, starting January 1, 2019, is aimed in part at curbing the costs of living in the province’s largest city, which ranks as the least affordable real estate market in North America.
The practice of laundering money in Canadian casinos via Chinese citizens began in 2009 and reached it's peak in 2015, accounting for millions in undetected, laundered proceeds.
According to The New York Times, US$1 trillion recently left China in an 18-month time period around 2015-16. Most of this money comes from wealthy Chinese individuals who secretly store away their legally earned money overseas. What began as a trickle 20 years ago has now become a tidal wave of capital outflows with stories of middle-class Chinese now opening bank accounts in Canada and the United States. Individuals who move their monies offshore fear that China’s economy could tank or the yuan may be devalued against overseas currencies, wiping away most of their savings. Or worse, the Chinese government may unfairly take their money if these individuals fall into disfavour or under the whims of some corrupt official.