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Proceeds of Crime Program

“We take the profit out of the crime”
Superintendent Jeff Adam
- Proceeds of Crime Director, RCMP Headquarters

 

 

 

Anything bought with money generated by crime can legally be taken away. The RCMP’s Proceeds of Crime units hit criminals where it hurts them most: we seize their money, cars, boats, planes and houses. Such proceeds of crime undermine the social and economic well-being of Canadians while increasing the power and influence of organized criminals and their illegal enterprises.

“The only way you’re going to hurt the drug industry and organized crime is at the money source; money is always in action, invested for the next load; the money is the key; if you stop the money you stop the drug dealing in this country because without the money, you can’t put an operation together. You’re never going to dry up the demand, and you’re never going to dry up the supply; you’ve got to dry up the operations.” **
- Former convicted money launderer

 

 

 

 

 

Protecting Canada’s economic integrity and fighting organized crime are two of the RCMP’s strategic priorities. Strong links exist between financial crime and organized crime, and we know that criminals are using sophisticated techniques to launder money and hide their illicit profits. Proceeds of Crime is dedicated to finding ways to stop them.

The majority of Proceeds of Crime investigations are linked to organized crime. The IPOC (Integrated Proceeds of Crime) initiative’s goal is: to contribute to the disruption, dismantling and incapacitation of targeted organized criminals and crime groups.

Proceeds of Crime Branch (POCB)

Our goal is to dismantle criminal organizations and prevent them from regrouping.

“It [targeting proceeds of crime] is the number one tool that will break the back of organized crime and illegal drugs.”
Source: Evaluation 2005

 

 

 

The RCMP Headquarters Proceeds of Crime Branch in Ottawa is responsible for policy development, program planning, program monitoring, and resource allocation. This includes identifying areas of legislative weakness and pursuing statute amendments.

How "Integrated” is IPOC ?

Organized crime is fluid and recognizes no borders. There’s no way to track or fight it alone. If you like teamwork and believe in intelligence-led policing, this is the place for you. Working with local, national and international partners, the RCMP’s Proceeds of Crime Program operates as a major partner in the fight against organized crime.

IPOC Partners:

“I’ve been with the Proceeds of Crime Program for 10 years now. From day one, the satisfaction of being able to "take the toys from the bad boys" and witness the tangible effect it has on the criminal element has remained the impetus for me to stay in the program. As I get close to retirement, I can honestly say they have been the most gratifying years of my career.”
Staff Sergeant Terry Lane
Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Proceeds of Crime
RCMP “B” Division

 

 

 

 

 

 

The RCMP is the lead agency responsible for daily operations and the management of each IPOC unit. Principal activities include:

  • Assessing leads for potential investigation
  • Determining investigative priorities and identifying targets of investigations
  • Managing and conducting investigations
  • Providing advice and assistance to other RCMP units and other forces for investigations involving significant asset seizures
  • Providing investigative assistance and support to the prosecution (when charges are laid) over the course of judicial proceedings.

“The more sophisticated the operation you bust, the more the message gets out that no matter how good a criminal you may be, the cops are better.”
Source: Integrated Proceeds of Crime Initiative Evaluation 2005

 

 

 

In July 2006, an Ontario Superior Court Justice concluded there was nothing unconstitutional in proceeds of crime legislation that requires criminals to forfeit profits they’ve made from crime, or to pay fines if those profits have disappeared.

"I enjoy the diverse nature of Proceeds of Crime work, from undercover operations, wiretaps, surveillance, interviewing suspects and following the organized crime money trail. It’s satisfying to seize, restrain and have forfeited the ill-gotten gains of criminal organizations because it has a real impact on their wallets. Working in Proceeds of Crime exercises all of your skill sets – the job isn’t about sitting behind the desk." Inspector Doug Pott
Officer in Charge, Calgary Integrated Proceeds of Crime

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operational Successes

  • May 2009 - Operation Mantis
    Ottawa, ON - More than $3 million in 64 cash seizures and another $4 million in undeclared currency was detected at ports of entry around the world through Operation Mantis, a multi-lateral anti-cash smuggling enforcement blitz conducted at large international airports around the world. A total of $612, 753 in illegal currency was seized at three Canadian airports.
  • August 2008
    Pigeon River, ON - Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers at the Pigeon River Port of entry seized $330,000 in unreported Canadian currency during the inspection of a vehicle believed to belong to a criminal organization. The investigation was turned over to London Integrated Proceeds of Crime, which laid proceeds of crime charges against two individuals.
  • June 2006
    The RCMP in conjunction with the Aboriginal Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit busted a major drug trafficking ring in an operation dubbed Project Cleopatra. Ms. Sharon Simon was arrested at her luxury home in Kahnesatake as part of an operation that involved more than 350 police officers. She is alleged to be the head of the network with close ties to members of the Hells Angels in Montreal and Trois Rivières, and other organized crime groups. The home (valued at more than $1 million) was restrained as proceeds of crime subject to forfeiture. More than $1 million dollars (Canadian and US funds) were seized.
  • April 2006
    The joint forces operation involving the RCMP, Sûreté du Québec, Ontario Provincial Police, Gatineau and MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais took down a criminal organization responsible for the sale and distribution of contraband cigarettes. Approximately $1,406,960 in cash, real estate and personal property were seized and/or restrained with an additional $388,000 in tax liens. This investigation effectively dismantled the organization and it's ability to operate.
  • 2005 Project HAVEN
    This operation targeted Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs ). Over $4 million in assets were seized and over $3.5 million forfeited. In total, 131 charges were laid with convictions having been registered for all charges.
  • March 2004
    Vancouver RCMP IPOC concluded a major proceeds investigation that spanned more than two years. Nine individuals were charged, 150 lbs of marihuana and four handguns were seized, and assets including cash, vehicles and residences totaling almost $6 million were forfeited. Over a six month period, the five main targets of the investigation laundered $6,786,000 USD into $8,798,907 CDN with an RCMP undercover and were consequently charged with money laundering and proceeds offences.

Find out more: Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

POC locations

Money Laundering: Scope of the Problem

“We were most worried about the police finding our money, because that’s where we’re most vulnerable. It was the only way you could stop me. For the first time in my life, I went to jail broke.”**
Former high-level money launderer following conviction and removal of his criminal assets

 

 

 

 

While an exact dollar amount can never be established, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that the total amount of money being laundered in the world could be in the range of 2-5 percent of world Gross Domestic Product (approximately $900 billion to $2.25 trillion Canadian dollars).

Money Laundering Offences

  • It is a criminal offence to launder money in Canada. Section 462.31 of the Criminal Code of Canada deals specifically with this issue.
  • Money laundering is an offence which carries up to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. A minor offence can be dealt with by way of summary conviction.
FINTRAC
FINTRAC

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada

Money Laundering Program

The Money Laundering Program operates as a partner in the Anti-Money Laundering/Anti-Terrorist Financing Initiative. It’s shared outcome is"Contributing to the control and deterrence of money laundering, organized crime and terrorist financing activities."

The RCMP Money Laundering Unit's roles and responsibilities are:

  • To receive intelligence from a wide variety of sources. For example, the Money Laundering Unit is a major recipient of suspected money laundering intelligence from FINTRAC. We also receive intelligence related to cross-border currency smuggling from the Canada Border Services Agency. We receive information from other RCMP units, other law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and private sector businesses. Financial institutions provide us with information about suspicious transactions and the general public contact us with complaints.
  • Upon receipt of intelligence, the Money Laundering Unit conducts an investigative assessment to determine whether a criminal investigation is warranted.
  • We provide Voluntary Information Reports to FINTRAC
  • We train and raise awareness among our partners

** Evaluation of the IPOC Initiative for fiscal years 2001 to 2004 .
Prepared for: Policing, Law Enforcement and Interoperability., Public Safety Canada (PSC)
Prepared by: Consulting and Audit Canada, Project No.: 520-1074, February 2005 .
These quotations were taken from an interview with a former high-level money launderer, who purportedly renounced such a life following a lengthy conviction and removal of his criminal assets. He spoke to one of the IPOC units and allowed the interview to be taped.