A Canadian lawmaker wants answers after the BC money laundering probe condemned federal agencies. Member of Parliament (MP) Adam Chambers is weighing support for a federal money laundering inquiry. Due to numerous failures, the Canadian economy has become as dependent on money laundering as the United States was on housing in 2006. Now the MP for Simcoe North wants to know how so many intelligence resources can become scarce reliable to the point of systemic failure.
Canada’s anti-money laundering resources are unreliable
Last week, British Columbia concluded the Cullen Commission, its investigation into money laundering. An 1,800-page report boils down to one key point: Canada’s anti-money laundering resources are unreliable.
“British Columbia’s law enforcement agencies cannot rely on FINTRAC to produce timely and useful intelligence on money laundering activities that they can put into action,” the commissioner noted to the investigation, Austin Cullen.
Canada’s anti-money laundering resources are so bad that the Commission just told British Columbia to start over. A new provincial investigative agency is currently under consideration. This implies that Canada’s resource problems cannot be solved. Good grief.
Great for British Columbia, but what about the rest of Canada? Money laundering works on a similar principle to mailing. It flows towards the regions which offer the least resistance. If law enforcement is dysfunctional in Canada, the new BC agency will shift the problem to other regions. Canadians should ask themselves why.
A Canadian lawmaker wants to know if the public would support a federal investigation into money laundering
MP Adam Chambers appears to want to play the role of Canada’s anti-money laundering policy maker. Last week he introduced a bill calling for tougher penalties for those who conceal assets. This week, he’s polling support for a federal money laundering investigation. It seems obvious, but BC politicians had to fight for every inch of support to get an inquiry there.
“Money laundering is out of control. More than a hundred billion dollars pass through Canada every year,” Chambers says.
Adding: “Global criminals are flocking to Canada to wash their dirty money. They know our laws are weak and money washed in Canada is easy to move around the world.
“We need a national inquiry to investigate money laundering in Canada, laws that force criminals to clearly identify what they own, and laws that punish those who help them.
Canada’s law enforcement needs more tools
For years, we’ve heard law enforcement explain in part why they’ve become helpless because they lack tools. Not money, the agencies saw a modest increase in funding, but laws to help prosecute crimes. The Chambers petition also appears to be weighing support for new prosecution tools.
“…we need to give law enforcement the tools to root out money launderers. These changes will help end the world’s criminal party and make criminals think twice about washing their dirty money in Canada,” he said.
It doesn’t specify what tools are needed and is likely waiting to see what a survey suggests. However, one need only look south of the border to see an effective tool. In 1970, the United States implemented the RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations). Racketeering is the act of profiting from illegal activity or using businesses to exert illegal pressure.
The RICO Act makes it possible to prosecute those who profit from organized crime, even indirectly. Since Canada does not have similar laws, only low-level street thugs can be prosecuted. No organized crime official is dumb enough to be caught whitewashing. In the United States, this compartmentalization of risk does not always work. They can now sue the known leader of the organization, trying to stop the problem at the source.
Since Canada does not have similar laws, arresting an organization is nearly impossible. It’s like Hydra – two more low-level criminals spawn for each one that’s cut. Sounds silly not having a tool like the RICO Act in Canada, huh?
Now consider that the United States first passed the law 52 years ago. It’s beginning to feel like it’s less a matter of naïve politicians than of willful ignorance. When an industry, yes – laundering is an industry, supports more than 5% of GDP, no one wants to be the person ruining the party. Do you hear this noise? It was Chambers’ social schedule.
Hey, only a few younger generations are affected by this stuff. Money laundering has helped drive up house prices, which many people are thrilled about. It’s no wonder so many politicians have chosen to buy an investment property instead of looking into the matter.
Petition from MP Chambers: stopmoneylaundering.ca