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Results in the Fight Against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing
November 17, 2016 – Ottawa – Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada
Finance Minister Bill Morneau today tabled in Parliament the 2016 Annual Report of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Results in the Fight Against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing. The report describes the activities and operations that Canada’s financial intelligence unit carried out in 2015–16 to help protect Canadians and the integrity of Canada’s financial system.
Over this reporting period, FINTRAC’s financial intelligence assisted hundreds of money laundering investigations in the context of a wide variety of criminal investigations, where the origins of the suspected criminal proceeds were linked to fraud, drugs, organized crime, tax evasion and human trafficking. Last year, the Centre joined police and national security partners in Project Protect, a unique public-private partnership with Canada’s major banks to help combat human trafficking and the laundering of the proceeds derived from this activity. Since Project Protect was launched, FINTRAC’s disclosures to police regarding money laundering related to human trafficking have increased significantly.
As Canada’s financial intelligence unit, the Centre also plays a key role nationally and internationally in helping to combat terrorism. The RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team in Toronto recognized FINTRAC’s collaboration in an extensive national security criminal investigation, Project SWAP, which resulted in a terrorism charge under the Criminal Code in March 2016.
The report also details the broad range of enabling and enforcement activities that the Centre undertook to ensure that businesses across the country met their obligations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, including providing policy interpretations and guidance, conducting compliance examinations, and levying administrative monetary penalties. The compliance efforts of Canadian businesses and, in particular, the financial transaction reports they provide to FINTRAC are the foundation of its analysis and the intelligence that it is able to provide to its police and national security partners.
- FINTRAC provided 1,655 disclosures of actionable financial intelligence to its police and national security partners to assist their investigations of money laundering, terrorism financing and other threats to Canada’s security.
- 483 financial intelligence disclosures were related to terrorism financing and threats to the security of Canada – a 43 percent increase over the previous year.
- The Centre conducted 739 compliance examinations of Canadian businesses across Canada.
- FINTRAC issued 22 administrative monetary penalties. Since it received the authority to issue administrative monetary penalties in 2008, the Centre has issued 95 penalties and publicly named 40 businesses.
- Under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, FINTRAC’s first priority is to safeguard the information it receives. Clear principles for the protection of privacy are set out in its governing legislation, which respects the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Privacy Act, and are reinforced by the Centre’s own operational policies and security measures.
“Canada’s strong and comprehensive anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime is at the forefront of the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. FINTRAC is a key part of this regime and plays an integral role in protecting the stability and integrity of Canada’s financial system.”
Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
“FINTRAC’s financial intelligence has become increasingly valued by our partners as lead information to expand or define their investigations, and to obtain search warrants and production orders to gather information in pursuit of criminal charges. Working closely with our police and national security partners and 31,000 businesses across the country, we are achieving real results in creating a hostile environment for those who seek to abuse our financial system or threaten Canadians.”
Gérald Cossette, Director, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada
FINTRAC is an arm’s length agency governed by the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Finance. The Centre produces financial intelligence that assists law enforcement and national security agencies in combatting money laundering, terrorist activity financing and threats to the security of Canada.
FINTRAC ensures the compliance of financial entities, securities dealers, casinos, money services businesses and others across the country that have legal obligations to: establish a compliance program; identify clients; monitor business relationships; keep records; and report certain types of financial transactions, including suspicious transactions and international electronic funds transfers of $10,000 or more.
FINTRAC is part of Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime. The initiative is led by the Department of Finance and also includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, Public Safety Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Communications Security Establishment, the Department of Justice and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
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