With Canada and China reportedly working on a bilateral extradition treaty, a Vancouver lawyer who specializes in international money laundering says local homes bought with dirty money could end up owned by the Chinese government.
That’s if a treaty goes ahead.
Beijing has wanted one with Canada for years, but Ottawa has demurred mostly because of China’s human rights record.
If it does go ahead, Christine Duhaime says if Beijing wants to do an asset recovery and seize those houses by a court order, then they’ll belong to the People’s Republic.
But Duhaime says it likely won’t want to keep them for long.
“China’s going to want to sell…I mean literally, China’s going to want its money back so it doesn’t want to be holding on to a number of houses in Vancouver.”
Last week a report from the Financial Action Taskforce said corrupt Chinese government officials have been laundering money through Vancouver’s real estate sector, which some have attributed as a factor in the housing affordability crisis.