Today, at the FINTRAC forum on casino-related money laundering, the RCMP announced its latest public-private partnership that includes law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, credit unions, casinos, federal and provincial governments, financial regulators and the real-estate sector.
With the goal of strengthening resilience in Canada's anti-money laundering regime, this initiative is set to enhance information sharing and advance understanding of the issue among these key stakeholders. Through this collaboration the RCMP and its partners expect to increase their ability to detect money laundering and underground banking, protect financial systems and controls from manipulation and disrupt money laundering operations perpetrated largely by transnational organized crime groups.
Over the past few years, the RCMP and police agencies across Canada have been working more closely with the financial sector stakeholders, including the major banks and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). Through these relationships, Canadian law enforcement has been able to align efforts to target specific illegal activity and assist with successful investigations and prosecutions.
A key component to enhancing this national initiative is to identify and analyze vulnerabilities, trends and gaps. A project already underway in British Columbia does exactly that. Dubbed Project ATHENA, this collaborative model by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit will be expanded by the RCMP to the country's major financial hubs to help advance this new anti-money laundering partnership.
Making dirty money clean helps criminal networks flourish and it impacts all of us. The RCMP is committed to furthering collaboration and sharing information with partners to help make the necessary improvements to better protect against laundering the proceeds of crime. We are thankful to all partners for their cooperation towards this shared responsibility.
The CFSEU-BC recognized the importance of bringing together stakeholders from the financial and real-estate sectors, regulators, casinos, governments, and policing to start Project ATHENA. We are pleased that the RCMP have been able to enhance the project on a national scale and we look forward to its continued development," says the CFSEU-BC's Acting Chief Officer, Superintendent Paul Dadwal. "Taking away the ability for individuals and groups involved in organized crime to move their money is critical to our collective goal of making Canada safer and to prevent money laundering.
Previous public-private partnerships have proven to be extremely valuable in advancing financial crime risk mitigation efforts at Canadian financial institutions. Collaboration has enhanced our ability to identify, stop and report to FINTRAC, financial transactions connected to human trafficking, elder fraud and the fentanyl epidemic - contributing to a stronger and safer financial services industry. We hope to see these same successes from Project Athena.
- This is the fourth public-private sector partnership involving the RCMP, FINTRAC and Canadian businesses.
- Other public-private law enforcement partnerships including the RCMP, FINTRAC and other partners have included initiatives to combat human trafficking (Project PROTECT), romance scams (Project CHAMELEON) and fentanyl (Project GUARDIAN).