Pubdate: Fri, 16 Sep 2016
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Kim Bolan
Page: A6


Police in Canada are not doing enough to investigate money laundering
by more than 650 organized crime groups trying to hide their illicit
cash, an international oversight agency says in a new report.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a body that creates standards
to tackle money laundering globally, said "Canada is exposed to a very
high money laundering threat of both local and foreign origin."

While various types of fraud were cited as major sources of laundered
money, the report said "the proceeds of drug trafficking laundered in
Canada are also significant and derive predominantly from domestic
activity controlled by organized crime groups."

"Organized criminal groups pose the greatest domestic money laundering
risk, as they are involved in multiple criminal activities generating
large amounts of proceeds of crime," FATF said.

Money laundering is supposed to be a law enforcement priority in

"But in practice, most of the attention is focused on securing
evidence in relation to the (related, more serious) offence and little
attention is given to money laundering," the report says.
"Insufficient efforts are deployed in pursuing the money laundering
element of (more serious) offences and pursuing money laundering
without a direct link to (that) offence."

FATF says Canadian law enforcement agencies don't take a "follow the
money" approach to investigating organized crime.

"Nor do they initiate a parallel financial investigation, notably
because of resource constraints," the report says.

Those wanting to launder drug proceeds use "businesses that handle
high volumes of cash."

"These include brick and mortar casinos, convenience stores, gas
stations, bars, restaurants, food-related wholesalers and retailers
and dealers in precious metals and stones."

And it said that organized crime groups also use some of Canada's
43,000 no-name ATM machines - known as white-label ATMs - to launder
drug money.

These ATMs, located in stores, restaurants, bars and other community
locations, are not owned by banks or credit unions and are not subject
to regulation under Canadian law, the report says.
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