Canadian anti-money laundering measures still have ‘significant gaps’ - regulators

While major strides have been observed in Canada’s efforts to root out illegal financial activities, the government’s existing measures still exhibit “significant gaps” that leave the country at grave risk of money laundering, according to an international regulation and standards body.
In its latest assessment of the Canadian situation, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) stated that dangers abound in the fact that currently, law practitioners and Quebec notaries are not subject to the anti-money laundering obligations that banks and other financial institutions carry, The Globe and Mail reported.
Another major concern for the FATF is the Fintrac’s lack of teeth, as the quality of the intelligence unit’s analysis is limited by the present set-up where it is not permitted to secure additional information.
“[Canada must] increase timely access to financial intelligence – authorize Fintrac to request and obtain from any reporting entity further information related to suspicions of money laundering, predicated offences and terrorist financing,” FATF stated in its report released on September 15.
The FATF added that Fintrac should apply “more intensive supervisory measures” to the real estate sector, as well as develop expertise in this segment.
The observation echoed that of the U.S. State Department, which in its March 2016 report pinpointed Canada as a haven for money laundering activity.
“Obstacles to successful enforcement include privacy rules that prevent Fintrac from freely sharing information with law enforcement; complex investigations that can take understaffed police agencies years to finish; and overworked Crown prosecutors,” the State Department said.

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