Money laundering is a complex and significant problem that threatens the integrity and stability of the financial sector and broader economy. It is a serious crime that affects Canadians’ safety, security and quality of life. Criminal organizations rely on laundered funds to feed other criminal activity like corruption, fraud, drug and human trafficking and other serious crimes that harm our communities.
Today marks the conclusion of a weeklong virtual conference, which brought together more than 850 investigators, prosecutors and other experts from across Canada to discuss anti-money laundering enforcement efforts. Organized by the Financial Crimes Coordination Centre (FC3), it was the first large scale conference of anti-money laundering professionals in this country.
Key areas of discussion included:
- COVID-19’s impact on money laundering trends
- sophisticated and current money laundering tactics including the use of virtual currency;
- information sharing and investigational challenges and best practices; and
- prosecutorial perspectives and lessons learned.
The Financial Crimes Coordination Centre is a five-year pilot initiative first announced in Budget 2019. Now operational, the FC3 will coordinate support to investigators and prosecutors across jurisdictions. Its creation signals an important step in strengthening Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering Regime and demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to taking stronger action on combatting financial crime.
The FC3’s inaugural conference concluded with a renewed sense of determination to improving enforcement outcomes.
“Our Government is committed to working with our partners to ensure ongoing collaboration on issues of joint concern and responsibility. As a former crown prosecutor I understand the immense complexity of money laundering cases and the importance of coordination across agencies to gather the right evidence in a timely manner. It is essential that we continue this important work of bringing experts to the table to discuss emerging issues and develop the tools and resources necessary to counter this evolving threat.”
– The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
Since 2019, the Government of Canada has provided over $220 million to support efforts to modernize legislation, strengthen inter-agency cooperation and information sharing, and equip law enforcement with the necessary tools and expertise to support investigations.
This funding includes $24 million for the Financial Crime Coordination Centre (FC3) within Public Safety Canada, and approximately $28 million over four years and $10 million ongoing to create a Trade Fraud and Trade-Based Money Laundering (TBML) Centre of Expertise (COE) at the Canada Border Services Agency.
The Government also continues to support the work of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and has committed $98.9 million to strengthening its Federal Policing capacity, including $19.8 million to staff new positions in new integrated enforcement teams dedicated to investigating money laundering and proceeds of crime across the country.
Furthermore, Budget 2021 committed to implementing a publicly accessible corporate beneficial ownership registry by 2025. The creation of this registry will enhance Canada’s ability to identify and prosecute those who attempt to launder money, evade taxes, or commit other complex financial crimes.