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Auto retailers don't want to be singled out by money laundering crackdown

(iStock Photo)

Vancouver (NEWS 1130) – While we wait for a report on money laundering in casinos to be made public, the BC government’s already getting support for a crackdown on anyone trying to make large purchases with cash.

It’s coming from the president of the 1,000-member Automotive Retailers Association.

Ken McCormack says there should be stronger monitoring of all high-end sales including yachts and recreational vehicles.

“Make it fair and make it apply to everything. There are a number of dealers that won’t even do transactions where the down payment exceeds $10,000. They just won’t do it. It’s not an issue for our industry and we’re hoping that it doesn’t become one — simply because a report says it could happen. Don’t just make it specific to the automotive industry. Do it on any consumer transaction in excess of $10,000 — jewelry, art. That needs to be made clear. The automotive industry certainly supports any measures to ensure financial transactions do not support illegal activity like money laundering.”

He’s also taking issue with any suggestion dirty money is being used to buy luxury and so-called supercars.

“The automotive industry is being used as a whipping post and that’s a concern for us where reputations with the consumer are so critically important. The whole point here is the fact there is a financial transaction summary. Businesses are expected to submit to the government for cash purchases in excess of $10,000. I don’t know of a single dealer, new or used, not submitting the financial tracking summary to the federal government for them to use should they decide to audit purchase. Not to mention, automotive dealerships deal with banking institutions that require information on anything over $10,000.”

McCormack’s responding to recommendations made by former RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter German before he delivered his report on money laundering to Attorney General David Eby last month (March 31st).

Eby says German’s already found evidence of criminal behaviour in casinos and he suspects some luxury car sales are shady.