Reports of laundering on the rise

By Steven Lamb | November 4, 2004 | Last updated on November 4, 2004
1 min read

(November 4, 2004) Evidence that Canada may indeed be a haven for money laundering was tabled in the House of Commons today, as Finance Minister Ralph Goodale released the 2003-04 Annual Report of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

The total value of suspicious transactions tracked by FINTRAC rose dramatically in the past year, to $700 million from $460 million in the previous year. Seventy million of the total was associated with the financing of terrorism.

“Since its creation just four years ago, FINTRAC has become a key player in the National Initiative to Combat Money Laundering. Canada is making significant advances in detecting and deterring money laundering and terrorist activity financing with the result that it is now more difficult to launder money in Canada,” said FINTRAC Director Horst Intscher.

There were 9.5 million transaction reports in fiscal 2003-2004, up from just 2.2 million a year earlier. FINTRAC made 197 case disclosures, with 160 new cases and 37 updates. There were 48 case disclosures related to suspected terrorist activity financing and other threats to the security of Canada.

It is unclear whether the reported rise in suspicious transactions and overall value is due to increased criminal activity or increased vigilance by financial institutions.

FINTRAC relies on financial institutions and professionals to report suspicious transactions. To date, FINTRAC has signed 16 international agreements to exchange information with other financial intelligence units.

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Steven Lamb