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FINTRAC's financial intelligence disclosures

Supporting money laundering and terrorist financing investigations across Canada and around the world

As Canada's financial intelligence unit and anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulator, FINTRAC ensures the compliance of 24,000 businesses subject to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (the Act) and generates actionable financial intelligence for Canada's police, law enforcement and national security agencies.

FINTRAC was created to fulfill these mandates while respecting the Canadian Constitution and the privacy rights of Canadians. More than 90% of the reports that FINTRAC receives, including international electronic funds transfers and large cash transactions, are provided to the Centre automatically if they are in the amount of $10,000 or more.

While this reporting is critical to Canada's ability to deter and detect money laundering and terrorist activity financing, the large majority of these reports, which must be provided under the Act, are legitimate transactions for legitimate business purposes.

In order to protect the privacy of Canadians, FINTRAC can only disclose financial intelligence to certain law enforcement and national security agencies identified in the Act when the Centre has reasonable grounds to suspect the intelligence would be relevant to the investigation and prosecution of a money laundering or terrorist activity financing offence.

FINTRAC provided 2,292 financial intelligence disclosures last year in support of money laundering and terrorist financing investigations across Canada and around the world – or more than six disclosures every day. In total, FINTRAC has provided more than 24,000 financial intelligence disclosures to Canada's law enforcement and national security agencies since it became operational.

FINTRAC's unique financial intelligence disclosures very often contain hundreds or even thousands of financial transaction reports in each disclosure. Connecting the flow of illicit funds, particularly involving organized criminal groups, rarely equates to one report for each disclosure.

For example, the 355 disclosures that FINTRAC provided to municipal, provincial and federal law enforcement in British Columbia in 2019-20 were focused on nearly 700 individuals and, in total, contained more than 15,000 transaction reports, with some reports including numerous transactions. The approximate value in the transactions relevant to money laundering investigations was $6,085,838,814.

Since 2017, the Centre has provided a total of 1,757 disclosures to law enforcement in British Columbia, with most containing hundreds or even thousands of financial transactions.

FINTRAC's financial intelligence contributed to 335 major, resource intensive investigations last year as well as many hundreds of other individual investigations at the municipal, provincial and federal levels across the country.

FINTRAC's disclosures are often provided to a number of agencies simultaneously, when there is authorization to do so. The ability to provide multiple disclosure packages means that FINTRAC can help Canada's law enforcement and national security agencies connect criminal activities and operations across a number of jurisdictions by following the money.

Many of the recipients of FINTRAC's disclosures have told the Centre that they will not start a major project-level investigation without seeking out its financial intelligence. Ninety-seven percent of the feedback that FINTRAC received last year from law enforcement and national security agencies indicated that its financial intelligence was both valuable and actionable.

Law enforcement and national security agencies continue to seek out FINTRAC's financial intelligence in record numbers. Last year, the Centre received 2,168 voluntary information records from Canada's law enforcement and national security agencies. These records contain information on alleged criminals and terrorist financiers and are often the starting point for FINTRAC's analysis and the financial intelligence that it is able to generate and disclose.

FINTRAC's financial intelligence was recently recognized by the Yukon RCMP in relation to Project MONTEREY, a major drug trafficking investigation where eight individuals are facing a total of 29 charges related to drug trafficking, proceeds of crime, firearms offences and money laundering. Other examples where FINTRAC's contributions to law enforcement investigations have been recognized can be found on the Centre's website.

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