The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac) has published a new operational alert, Laundering the Proceeds of Crime from Illegal Wildlife Trade.
It aims to assist Canadian businesses meet legal requirements to identify and report financial transactions related to the laundering of proceeds of crime from illegal wildlife trade (IWT).
This reporting will facilitate the production of actionable financial intelligence in support of law enforcement investigations of this crime in Canada and abroad.
The alert was developed in support of Project Anton, a new international public-private partnership aimed at improving awareness and understanding of the global threat posed by IWT, and targeting the laundering of proceeds from this crime domestically and internationally.
The indicators are intended to be applied in a Canadian context, but according to Fintrac they can be used by other jurisdictions to help them identify financial transactions and high risk factors related to illegal wildlife trade.
Fintrac’s STR analysis
The alert is founded on a sample of approximately 200 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) related to IWT between 2011 and 2022.
Fintrac’s analysis observed several money laundering methods. These included the use of nominees, front companies owned by traffickers or their associates, and funds layered between related accounts. Overall, cash transactions, wire transfers, and email money transfers were the primary transactions in STRs.
A public-private partnership initiative led by Scotiabank, Project Anton is supported by Fintrac, the Royal Foundation’s United for Wildlife, and other key domestic and international partners to combat illegal wildlife trade.
The project is named after Anton Mzimba, head of security at a South African nature reserve who was tragically murdered in his home last July for his commitment to protecting and conserving wildlife.
The project aims to improve the collective understanding of illegal wildlife trade and to improve the detection of the laundering of proceeds from this crime.
Fintrac’s new operational alert, Laundering the Proceeds of Crime from Illegal Wildlife Trade, can be found here.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News