According to experts, nearly $5.3 billion was laundered through real estate in British Columbia last year.

Investigators point to weak laws surrounding money laundering in Canada as a contributing factor to the illegal activity.

In total, $7.4 billion worth of transactions in the province was believed to be the result of money laundering in 2018, meaning that approximately 72 percent of that total was done through real estate.

“Our economy should work for regular people, not criminals. Housing should provide shelter, not a vehicle for proceeds of crime,” said the province’s Finance Minister Carole James.

The provincial government commissioned the report which was lead by criminal law expert Maureen Maloney. The report resulted in 29 recommendations for the province to combat the crimes. The investigation was released alongside another report by former RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter German.

German’s report laid out the signs which indicate money laundering operations and detailed how they work.