Sunday, April 18, 2021

B.C. probing large cash payments to schools in bid to curb money laundering


It was one of the most surprising sectors identified in a recent report as vulnerable to money laundering: education, with tens of thousands of dollars in college tuition paid in cash.

On Tuesday, the B.C. government announced it will send letters to all 25 of the province’s public colleges and universities, and 342 private post-secondary schools, to ask about their practices when it comes to accepting large amounts of cash.

It’s the first step in what could be a future ban, said Melanie Mark, the minister for advanced education, during a May 28 press conference in Victoria.

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“We can tell them not to accept cash, but first we need to find out what they’re doing,” said Mark.

Colleges and universities have a month to respond to the information request.

Two explosive reports, both released on May 9, detailed the extent of money laundering and the vulnerability to financial crime found in the province’s real estate, luxury car and horse-racing sectors. The reports followed an earlier examination of money laundering in B.C. casinos.

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