Cullen Commission Enters Inquiry’s 2nd Phase
Tensions escalated this week as the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in the Canadian province of British Columbia announced its readiness to resume its inquiry and move head into the second phase of the proceedings. The hope and expectation is that the next four weeks will shine a light of clarity on many of the issues that had previously plagued the Canadian province.
The commission resumed its activities on Monday, which led to the second phase of the inquiry being opened by the testimony of St. Mary’s University (Halifax) criminology professor Stephen Schneider. Professor Schneider’s expert opinions related mostly to the role played (whether on purpose or negligently) by Canada’s six major banks. Money laundering is not possible; or least not in its current, highly accessible format; were it not for the diverse range of financial services offered by the country’s banks. Criminals, instead of using said services for those purposes originally intended, take advantage of the array of otherwise value-adding products and premium financial services offered by the banks in question.
Banks A Major Point Of Contact
The criminology expert then went on to cast the spotlight on just some of the services favoured by criminals for the purpose of laundering money, citing mortgages and investments as the two main culprits. The main idea behind the washing of dirty money via the various investment channels of a typical bank, is to make cash mostly got from criminal activities such as trading in illegal drugs, the support of terrorism and even human trafficking, look like legitimately generated money.
What’s more, pointed out Professor Schneider, not only are in-bank services targeted as a means to clean dirty money, but so too are the thousands of ATMs installed all across the Canadian provinces. This proved a glaring eye-opener to fellow commission experts present in that particular online video-conference session of the inquiry.
Vancouver Model Singled Out
Schneider’s testimony proved powerful as it relied not on hearsay or third-party case studies but instead, presented from his own personal experience and resulting point of view. The expert yet again stressed the prominence of what has been coined the ‘Vancouver’ model in money laundering committed all across British Columbia.
Following an expected 2 days’ worth of testimony by the expert in criminology studies, and thereafter approximately three-and-a-half weeks more remaining in terms of the second phase of the inquiry, the commission will be granted a time for the purpose of evaluating all that it had heard over the course of the mentioned period of time, after which it is expected to publish a thorough report as well as clear-cut suggestions with a focus on future prevention.