Asian newspaper says money mules from Asia are smuggling suitcases full of US cash to Vancouver to avoid FATCA and IRS

By Christine Duhaime | August 4th, 2014

Suitcases full of cash muled to Vancouver by cash couriers

According to this article in South China Morning Post, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA“), will result in the growth of Asia’s underground or shadow banking system, including an increase in the use of cash mules who transport suitcases full of US cash from Asia to Vancouver and New York to avoid the IRS.

Chinese mainlanders pay a 22% commission for cash exchange and mule services to Vancouver or New York.

Cash used to buy homes in Vancouver

To elaborate on the article, in Vancouver, real estate agents say that once a foreign national’s cash is safely smuggled into Vancouver, the foreign national from China or Hong Kong jet sets into Vancouver and buys numerous houses with cash, or deposits the funds into local bank accounts, apparently without any due diligence on the source of the funds.

The smuggling of cash and other monetary instruments into Vancouver from Asia is not new  (see here for that story) – in 2012, Canada’s CBSA seized $15 million in undeclared currency imports in Vancouver alone, an amount that is out-of-proportion to the rest of Canada and the US which seized $107 million for the entire country.


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