British Columbia’s Prosecution Service (BCPS) will not lay any charges related to the province’s largest China money laundering investigation.
The BCPS put out a statement saying that the “charge assessment standard had not been met” and it would not approve any charges against those implicated in alleged schemes to launder money for criminal organizations.
“Following a lengthy review of the RCC, the BCPS concluded that the charge assessment standard had not been met and no charges would be approved,” wrote the BCPS.
This comes after Premier David Eby appointed a special prosecutor to assess whether charges were warranted after an inquiry uncovered a lucrative multi-million dollar money laundering involving transnational criminal organizations with links to China.
In an explanation provided by the BCPS, special prosecutor Christopher Considine concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to indicate that Canada’s Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act were violated.
Considine admitted that there was evidence that large quantities of cash were moved under “highly suspicious” circumstances but it could not be proven that the money was obtained as a proceed of a crime.
“It is frustrating … But we also have to remember this isn’t all the tools in the toolkit. We have civil forfeiture laws, we have other ways and we’re also constantly as a government improving our ability to go after money laundering,” BC Attorney General Niki Sharma said on Wednesday.
“There’s a whole team investigating money laundering in this province, it’s constantly working on investigating charging cases.”
BC has conducted several provincial inquiries into allegations of widespread money laundering including the Cullen Commission.
The Commission found that a vast majority of the money laundering was taking place via casinos and real estate.
It is estimated that billions in dollars were laundered through BC casinos between 2008 and 2018.