FINTRAC Working to Protect the Security of Canadians



    OTTAWA, Oct. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of
Finance, today tabled in Parliament the 2006-07 Annual Report of the Financial
Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). The report
highlights that the number of case disclosures FINTRAC issued this year rose
by 15 per cent to 193. FINTRAC disclosures contain financial intelligence the
Centre suspects would be relevant to investigations of money laundering,
terrorist activity financing or other threats to the security of Canada.
    "FINTRAC has made great advances in making Canada a hostile environment
for money laundering, the financing of terror and major crime," said
Minister Flaherty. "The recent amendments brought by Bill C-25 have
strengthened Canada's laws and expanded the information that FINTRAC can
provide to investigations."
    FINTRAC's results reflect its strategy of targeting larger and more
complex networks engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing activity.
This year it has disclosed a significant number of large cases, that is, with
disclosed transactions valued at more than $50 million. The total value of
disclosed transactions suspected of being relevant to an investigation or
prosecution of money laundering offences reached $10 billion. Although this
figure represents transactions disclosed as suspicious, it is not, by itself,
a measure of the magnitude of money laundering or terrorist financing in
Canada.
    "Such large dollar values suggest very large international criminal
operations and that the criminal networks behind such operations are
increasingly vulnerable to FINTRAC's ability to detect them," said FINTRAC
Director Horst Intscher.
    Included in the 193 case disclosures, were 33 cases disclosed to CSIS or
the RCMP suspected to be relevant to investigations of terrorist activity
financing or threats to the security of Canada, as defined in the CSIS Act.
These case disclosures involved $209 million in transactions, down from
$256 million last year.

    FINTRAC is an independent federal government agency with a mandate to
collect, analyze and assess financial transaction reports. FINTRAC discloses
financial intelligence to law enforcement and CSIS where it has reasonable
grounds to suspect that the information would assist in the investigation of
money laundering and terrorist activity financing offences or threats to the
security of Canada.
    FINTRAC is part of Canada's Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist
Activity Financing Initiative. The initiative is led by the Department of
Finance and includes the RCMP, CSIS, Public Safety Canada, Canada Revenue
Agency, Canada Border Services Agency, the Communications Security
Establishment and the Department of Justice.


    
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                 Highlights from FINTRAC's 2007 Annual Report
                           "Reaching New Heights"
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FINTRAC plays an integral role in Canada's effort to fight organized crime
and terrorism. Its mandate is to assist in the detection, prevention, and
deterrence of money laundering, terrorist activity financing and other threats
to the security of Canada by conveying financial intelligence to police
investigators and to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service when FINTRAC
has reasonable grounds to suspect that the intelligence would be relevant to
investigations.
    During the fiscal year 2006-2007, FINTRAC increased the size and scope of
its financial intelligence output, deliberately focusing on identifying
larger, more complex cases.

    During fiscal 2006-2007, FINTRAC made 193 case disclosures, of which:

    - 152 were for suspected money laundering
    - 33 were for suspected terrorist activity financing and/or threats to
      the security of Canada
    - 8 were for both suspected money laundering and suspected terrorist
      activity financing and/or threats to the security of Canada

    In 2006-2007 the 193 case disclosures represented

    - $8 billion in transactions of suspected money laundering
    - $209 million in transactions of suspected terrorist activity financing
      and other threats to the security of Canada, compared to $256 million
      in 2005-06
    - $1.6 billion in transaction of suspected money laundering and terrorist
      financing and/or other threats to the security of Canada.

    Eight out of ten FINTRACs disclosures this year were related to active
investigations by police.
    In 2006-07, the dollar value of the transactions included in FINTRAC's 193
case disclosures was slightly under $10 billion-roughly double the total value
of transactions disclosed last year, when FINTRAC produced 168 case
disclosures with a total dollar value of just over $5 billion. The significant
increase in 2006-2007 was driven by three large case disclosures. Each of the
three cases had transactions in excess of $1 billion. The average value of
transactions disclosed, per case, was $51 million in 2006-07, compared to
$30 million the year previous and $14.4 million in 2004-05.
    These numbers represent the total value of all the transactions that met
FINTRAC's threshold for suspicion and therefore disclosure to investigative
agencies of financial intelligence. Only further investigation by police can
determine if these suspicions will lead to prosecutions.
    FINTRAC has made a contribution to the global effort to combat crime and
terrorism by providing 35 case disclosures to 14 foreign financial
intelligence units.
    For the year 2006-2007, FINTRAC had 264 employees and a budget of $33.8
million.

    October 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Peter Lamey, Financial Transactions and Reports
Analysis Centre of Canada, (613) 943-3399; FINTRAC Annual Reports can be found
at: http://www.fintrac-canafe.gc.ca/publications/reports-rapports-eng.asp

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