Ottawa amends legislation to enhance money-laundering prosecutions

Money seized in Vancouver police investigation Undertaking Trunkline into drug trafficking that overlapped with money-laundering investigation E-Priate by the RCMP.


Legal Code amendments to make it simpler to show cash laundering are actually in drive in Canada.

The change to the Legal Code offence of cash laundering provides recklessness, a change that turned legislation on the finish of June.

This modification criminalizes the exercise of transferring cash on behalf of one other individual or group whereas being conscious that there’s a threat that this exercise may very well be cash laundering and persevering with with that exercise despite the chance, officers within the federal Finance Division mentioned in a written assertion.

It lowers the edge from having to show that the offence was related to an criminal activity, reminiscent of drug trafficking.

“This variation modernizes Canada’s cash laundering prison offences to be according to key allies (e.g., U.Okay. and Australia), and gives a further device to disrupt and extra successfully examine and prosecute cash laundering, significantly when coping with refined actors reminiscent of skilled cash launderers,” Finance Division spokesman Greg Sommerville mentioned in a written response to Postmedia questions.

The change comes because the B.C. authorities has additionally ticked off one other six suggestions from one of many impartial experiences it commissioned to fight cash laundering.

Amongst these adjustments is that playing regulation officers have a 24/7 presence in main Decrease Mainland casinos.

However whereas preliminary steps are being taken to create a extra sturdy anti-money-laundering system and guarantee a larger likelihood of profitable prosecutions, many extra anti-money laundering suggestions produced by the B.C. and Canadian authorities prior to now 18 months await implementation.

Simply 19 of greater than 120 suggestions — from three impartial B.C. experiences and a federal parliamentary report — have been accomplished.

Postmedia created a searchable database this spring that’s being up to date periodically to trace each governments’ progress on implementing the suggestions.

“Canada has fallen to this point behind for thus a few years, we’re taking part in catch-up,” mentioned James Cohen, govt director of Transparency Worldwide Canada, a company that advocates for stronger anti-money laundering legal guidelines and practices. 

The Legal Code change, for instance, might not fulfill a parliamentary committee advice final 12 months that known as for a variety of adjustments to raised facilitate cash laundering investigations and that different sources be made obtainable to police and prosecutors to pursue instances.

The federal authorities additionally just lately made a number of adjustments to its anti-money-laundering laws to control companies dealing in digital forex, one other parliamentary committee advice. As a part of that package deal, Ottawa additionally made adjustments to due diligence and helpful possession reporting necessities.

B.C. Legal professional Common David Eby’s workplace expects extra anti-money laundering suggestions will likely be fulfilled shortly, however that it’ll take till 2022 to take care of all suggestions from the primary anti-money laundering report on casinos.

His workplace is reviewing a second anti-money laundering report on luxurious vehicles and actual property, mentioned ministry spokesman Ryan Panton.

Each experiences have been written by a former RCMP deputy commissioner, Peter German. A 3rd report by a Simon Fraser College professor, Maureen Maloney, on cash laundering in actual property is being reviewed by B.C. Finance Ministry officers.

Cash laundering has been beneath the highlight in British Columbia, a results of revelations from a Postmedia investigation in 2017 that discovered probably tens of millions of have been being laundered by Decrease Mainland casinos.

Postmedia reported in February that money-laundering prosecutions have been uncommon and troublesome in B.C. A number of police investigations with ties to cash laundering since 2015 had resulted in a minimum of 17 arrests, however no prices.