The report is drawn from Canada-specific case studies and original research into the luxury property sector in Vancouver.
Little is known about who really owns some of the luxury property in Canada.
The report says:
- In Canada, more rigorous identity checks are done for individuals getting library cards than for those setting up companies.
- Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the center of the Panama Papers, marketed Canada to its clients as an attractive place to set up anonymous companies.
- Nearly 70 percent of money laundering cases and 50 percent of terrorist financing cases in Canada involve the use of corporate structures.
- A suspect is identified in less than 20 percent of money laundering cases in Canada. Only one third of the cases that go to trial result in a guilty verdict.
- Of the 100 most valuable residential properties in Vancouver, 46 percent are owned through companies, trusts, or nominees.
- 26 percent of the most expensive Vancouver properties sold in the last five years are owned on paper by students or homemakers.
TI-Canada said the government hasn’t acted on pledges in international forums such as the G20 “and secrecy prevails.”
Other countries have tightened their laws but “Canada risks becoming a haven for corrupt capital,” the group said.
The report — No Reason to Hide: Unmasking the Anonymous Owners of Canadian Companies and Trusts — is available here.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.