The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday, Jan. 23, edition that demand for $100 Canadian bank notes is climbing sharply. The Globe's Bill Curry writes that yet some outside experts say the main reasons are obvious: tax evasion and organized crime.
The British Columbia government is currently urging Ottawa to step up the fight against money laundering, warning that criminals are able to walk hassle-free through the front door of Vancouver casinos with hockey bags full of cash.
A major RCMP money-laundering investigation involving Vancouver casinos and large financial transfers from China that began in 2015 fell apart in November after criminal charges were stayed by the national police force, prompting B.C.'s attorney-general to express frustration that Ottawa is not doing more.
However, internal government briefing notes and recent research papers from central banks exploring the growing use of $100 bills tend to focus on other possible causes, such as the influence of low inflation and interest rates.
A Finance Department briefing note says, "This increase likely reflects a number of factors, including the low interest rate environment, tourism, education, wealth diversification, and capital flight."
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