The long-running debate about the level and impact of foreign investors on the hottest housing markets in Canada typically refers to legitimate buyers but it appears there is a shadier side. Money launderers from China are reportedly using property in Vancouver to ‘clean’ their dirty money. The Province says that it has investigated federal documents that show the weakness of Canada’s border laws allows foreign citizens caught with large sums of money to hold onto it in return for minimal fines. The Canada Border Service Agency seized more than $56 million between June 2014 and December 2014 and recent data shows that 60 per cent of undeclared money seized is from Chinese citizens. Hayley Labbé from MNP LLP, told The Province: “A lot of the illicit money coming into Canada from Chinese citizens is laundered through real estate in Vancouver.”

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