News Release: FINTRAC publishes indicators of money laundering through casino-related underground banking
December 10, 2019 – Ottawa – Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC)
FINTRAC today launched its most recent Operational Alert, Laundering the proceeds of crime through a casino-related underground banking scheme, at its second national Casino Forum. This Alert will assist businesses in identifying and reporting suspicious transactions that may be related to the activities of professional money launderers and money laundering organizations. These individuals and groups specialize in transforming the proceeds of crime into ‘clean money’ on behalf of criminals and organized crime groups, and regularly use the underground banking system to avoid detection.
The Operational Alert and its indicators were developed from an analysis of FINTRAC’s financial intelligence, in collaboration with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit in British Columbia. With enhanced suspicious transaction reporting facilitated by the alert, FINTRAC will be able to disclose additional, actionable financial intelligence in support of the money laundering investigations of Canada’s police and law enforcement agencies.
FINTRAC is publishing the Alert as part of Project Athena, an RCMP-led public-private partnership aimed at improving the collective understanding of the money laundering threat, strengthening financial systems and controls, and disrupting money laundering activity in British Columbia and across Canada.
With this latest public-private sector partnership, we are committed to working with Canadian businesses and regulators, the provinces and territories, and our anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime partners to ensure the safety of Canadians and security of our economy. Our new Operational Alert will help us generate critical financial intelligence in support of Project Athena, and the federal government’s broader efforts to combat money laundering activity in British Columbia and across Canada.
- With the information that FINTRAC receives from Canadian businesses across the country, the Centre provided 2,276 disclosures of actionable financial intelligence last year in support of investigations related to money laundering, terrorist activity financing and threats to the security of Canada.
- This is the fourth public-private sector partnership involving FINTRAC, the RCMP and Canadian businesses. Project Athena is modelled after Canada’s innovative and successful public-private sector partnerships targeting the trafficking of fentanyl (Project Guardian), romance fraud (Project Chameleon) and human trafficking in the sex trade (Project Protect).
- With Project Protect alone, FINTRAC has seen a 750 percent increase in suspicious transaction reporting related to money laundering and human trafficking in the sex trade, and the Centre has provided well over 500 disclosures of actionable financial intelligence to law enforcement agencies across the country and internationally.
- With the reporting that it has received to date, FINTRAC has already produced more than 30 financial intelligence disclosures in relation to Project Athena.
Operational Alert: Laundering the proceeds of crime through a casino-related underground banking scheme
- RCMP news release on Project ATHENA
- Budget 2019 (Chapter 4, Part 4)
- Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – British Columbia
Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada
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