Canadian budget proposes task force and Trade-based Money Laundering Centre of Expertise

The Canadian government has proposed a new anti-money laundering (AML) task force to crack down on trade-based, real estate and casino money laundering and it wants to establish a Trade-based Money Laundering Centre of Expertise.

The government is especially keen to curb money laundering activities in high-risk areas including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

Intelligence sharing

The proposed multi-agency task force is one of several intelligence sharing measures proposed in the 2019 federal budget to improve Canada’s weak record for policing money laundering and tax evasion.

The AML measures in the budget include investments of about C$200 million (US$149 million) over five years in response to growing concerns that transnational organised crime and professional money laundering networks are flooding illicit funds through Canadian real estate, corporations, and trade, budget documents say.

ACE Team

Perhaps the most significant proposed reform would implement the so-called ACE (AML action and co-ordination) team.

Funded as a five-year pilot programme at a cost of C$24 million, ACE is designed to bring together experts from Canadian law enforcement and intelligence agencies to share information and expertise on complex and international investigations.

Initial participants in ACE will include the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac), Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Revenue Agency and federal justice department prosecutors.

Centre of expertise

Complementing the ACE Team, Canada’s financial intelligence unit with a mandate to facilitate the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and terrorist financing, Fintrac and Canada Border Services will establish a Trade-based Money Laundering Centre of Expertise.

Its aim is to fight the growing use of import and export companies for hiding and transferring criminal funds.

Fintrac experts say they now see trade-based money laundering and underground banking and as the major channels through which criminal funds and narcotics flow in and out of Canada.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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