Following the approval of a motion this week that called for better oversight and tracking of where money used to make various payments at city hall comes from, Vancouver announced on Thursday that it is no longer accepting cash payments of over $10,000.
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In a release, the city said it is changing its policy on accepting cash payments, “effective immediately.”
The move comes in direct response to the direction received from city council at the January 29 meeting to put the plan into action.
“While the city is not required to report cash transactions greater than $10,000, setting the limit at this amount aligns to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) reporting requirement for the purpose of identifying and tracking money laundering,” the city said.
The motion, introduced by Councillor Melisssa De Genova, and entitled, “Deterring and Preventing Money Laundering and the Business of Organized Crime in the City of Vancouver,” calls for the city to work with provincial levels of government and – when appropriate – law enforcement agencies to “prevent money laundering that could be directly or indirectly linked to businesses operating with or without a business license in the City of Vancouver.”
De Genova said people could pay their taxes or permit fees with “bags of cash,” that is undocumented, and could give rise to money laundering.
The motion gives the city the ability to require “voluntary stringent financial reporting” including audited financial statements, from businesses, individuals, corporations and companies when paying specific taxes, business licenses, or other city fees.
It also called for a system which would allow the city to share “pertinent information” with the appropriate authorities to prevent and deter money laundering.
The motion was brought forward following a report by Perter German and commissioned by the Attorney General’s Office, which estimated over $100 million dollars has been laundered in BC.