In 2006, the Government of Canada provided $9 million over two years to the RCMP to address the rising trend in counterfeit Canadian currency. With this funding, the RCMP created three Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Teams (ICETs) to conduct major counterfeiting investigations in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The ICETs have been strategically located in these major centers because Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia are subject to the highest percentage of counterfeit notes passed and seized.
The teams are mandated to provide the necessary enforcement capability to ensure a national response to organized counterfeit activity and to investigate criminal organizations and individuals involved in the production and mass distribution of counterfeit currency.
The teams are inter-disciplinary and include specialists not only in banknote counterfeiting but also in surveillance, undercover operations and the use of human sources. They are supported by forensic examiners at the National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau, the Counterfeit Analysis Program and the RCMP’s Technological Crime Branch. The teams work closely with the Bank of Canada, other government agencies and our policing partners.
ICETs encourage the participation of other law enforcement agencies on a case-by-case basis. This includes sharing intelligence and other information through the creation of active partnerships at the local, regional, national and international levels.
Counterfeiting has a direct impact on the stability of Canada’s currency. It exposes individuals and businesses to financial loss and provides opportunities for organized crime groups to profit.
Through the National Counterfeit Enforcement Strategy, the RCMP in close cooperation with the Bank of Canada and our policing partners is renewing its commitment to maintain public confidence in Canada’s currency.
Recent anti-counterfeiting enforcement actions involving the RCMP ICETs and other Canadian law enforcement agencies include:
The Vancouver ICET assisted Surrey detachment with the arrest of two subjects who were wanted for counterfeit currency offences. At the time of their arrests, both were found to be in possession of counterfeit currency, forged identity cards and counterfeit credit cards. A search warrant executed at their condo led to the seizure of approximately $75,000 in US counterfeit currency.
The Greater Vancouver Drug Section and Burnaby RCMP executed a search warrant at a location believed to be used for manufacturing counterfeit payment cards. At this location, members of the RCMP seized 56 counterfeit Canadian $100 bank notes, counterfeit credit cards, counterfeit gift cards and a credit card factory (instruments used in forging credit cards including computer equipment and counterfeit credit card holograms). Three individuals were arrested.
Burnaby RCMP responded to a complaint of mischief at an apartment in South Burnaby, where the attending police officers discovered a marihuana grow-op. A search warrant was executed with the assistance of ICET, which lead to the seizure of counterfeit U.S. and Canadian bank notes of various denominations. Two individuals were arrested and counterfeit currency and drug charges were laid against them.
The Edmonton Police Service arrested two individuals for possession of counterfeit currency and for uttering counterfeit currency in Edmonton, AB, for allegedly using counterfeit notes in Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs). Further investigation resulted in the seizure of an envelope containing a quantity of counterfeit $100 and $20 bills, 22 pages of uncut paper sheets of photocopied $100, $50, and $10 bills, and a quantity of counterfeit Canadian Tire money. The accused stated that he used his own photocopier to make the counterfeit banknotes.
Vancouver Island RCMP executed a search warrant under the Controlled Drug and Substance Act at a residence in Nanaimo, BC, and located counterfeit bank notes and the equipment used to produce counterfeit bank notes. One subject was charged.
RCMP in Vancouver's Lower Mainland executed a firearms warrant at a residence and seized 2 kg of cocaine, numerous loaded fire arms and $1,500 in counterfeit Canadian bank notes. One suspect was arrested and charged with drug, firearms and counterfeit offences.
RCMP in Vancouver's Lower Mainland executed a search warrant at a motel in Burnaby, BC, which resulted in the seizure of hardware used in the production of counterfeit bank notes along with remnants of counterfeit bank notes. Three subjects were charged.
RCMP in Vancouver's Lower Mainland executed a search warrant at a residence in Surrey, BC, and recovered numerous stolen items as well as counterfeit bank notes and the equipment required to produce the bank notes. The accused plead guilty to a number of charges, including possession of counterfeit money, and was sentenced to one year and ordered to submit to DNA testing.
RCMP in Vancouver's Lower Mainland conducted a vehicle stop that resulted in the arrest of two suspects after a sealed plastic bag was found to contain $28,420 in counterfeit Canadian bank notes. Charges of possession of counterfeit bank notes were laid. Both accused pleaded guilty and received sentences of 72 days (for possession of 15 counterfeit $20 bank notes) and two years (for possession of $28,420 in counterfeit Canadian bank notes) respectively.
Greater Toronto Area RCMP Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Team (ICET) arrested two subjects as they left an industrial unit in the Greater Toronto Area. A search warrant executed at this location resulted in the seizure of a sophisticated counterfeit currency lab and $ 4.2 million dollars in Canadian counterfeit currency. In total, five subjects were arrested and charged with numerous counts of conspiracy, counterfeiting, drug and firearm offences.
Greater Toronto Area RCMP Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Team (ICET) concluded a 10-month investigation with the dismantling of one of Canada’s largest counterfeit plants. The investigation resulted in the seizure of more that $250,000 in Canadian counterfeit currency and the arrest of seven members of an organized crime group. This group was also involved in the illegal manufacturing of counterfeit American currency and counterfeit payment cards.