Canada is not a crime-free paradise as many US citizens assume!
According to a new investigation by the US State Department, Canada is one of the leading money laundering countries, perhaps comparable to notorious ones like Iran, China, Paraguay, among others.
The report highlighted that Canadian banks aren’t taking the necessary Anti Money Laundering measures, a practice that has turned the nation into a favorite spot for syndicates and crime networks.
Fentanyl is one of the most common drugs entering Canada, and the gangs behind these activities are using crypto-currencies in their dealings to remain anonymous. These drugs originate from international crime networks with members from different countries, including China and some parts of South America.
Though the investigations highlight that Canada works closely with the United States in their Anti Money Laundering efforts, the Canadian authorities are not doing enough to stop these crimes. Criminals can still find willing money launderers as well as partners who can keep them safe from any watchdogs.
The State Department’s report is not the only study raising such concerns in the nation. A recent report by Canada’s C.D. Howe policy institute mentioned that “in 99.9 % of the cases, Canadian authorities do not catch up with money launderers.”
Another study by the government of British Columbia found that last year, laundered money increased the cost of housing by 5%.
In the meantime, a report from Germany claims that these launderers are using illegal money to purchase luxury cars and ship them overseas without paying taxes or duties. And while all these findings are a wakeup call to most regimes, it may take some time before we see stricter laws laid down and action taken against these fraudsters.
Gangs are Using Sophisticated Strategies
The research by the US State Department also sought to find out why Canada is lagging in its AML efforts? And the findings may come as a surprise to many citizens; criminals are using more sophisticated techniques to stay anonymous. Technology is their best line of attack.
So how can the Canadian government catch up with these witty gangs? Upgrading their systems to beat the tricksters’ tech is one suggestion, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
Since the government has failed in most, if not all, of its efforts, Canada may as well rely on private security firms.
The OCC was speaking for a host of other federal agencies— and the group of bureaus said it “acknowledges that private sector technology, employing innovations and finding new ways to make the most of existing resources can help raise red flags on suspicious laundering activity and help fight them.
The Canadian government will have to pull up its socks if it is going to stop the circulation of illicit money within its borders. If approaching the private sector for help will be of assistance, then so be it.