30 June 2011
Money laundering in Canada is a largely risk free activity according to the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. Although offending has increased, police identify fewer than 20% of suspects, with only one in three being successfully prosecuted.
The former head of the RCMP Proceeds of Crime program attributes the cause to a weak investigation and prosecution process. Yet the RCMP estimates that up to $15 billion is laundered through the Canadian financial system each year.
The Public Prosecution Service justifies the low success rate because of the complexity of money laundering cases, which involve long and arduous trials. However Police funding to combat money laundering has not changed in 15 years, despite operating cost increases over that time.
“On paper, Canada has built a Rolls-Royce when it comes to fighting money laundering.” It has an elaborate system of regulations and reporting agencies. “But we forgot to put in the engine – an effective law enforcement that can take on these complicated cases.”