Organized Crime in Canada
- economic crime costs Canadians at least $5 billion a year;
- the smuggling of tobacco, alcohol and jewellery costs the various levels of government as much as $1.5 billion in lost tax revenue annually;
- activities related to organized crime are a source of health problems, primarily because smuggled products are not subject to any quality controls; and
- approximately 16,000 immigrants cross our borders clandestinely each year and this could lead, among other things, to an increase in racial prejudice and could undermine the confidence of the Canadian public in the immigration system.
Federal Statutes and Organized Crime
- The Criminal Code contains a number of offences related to the activities of organized crime. Among other things, it makes money laundering an offence and permits the seizure and forfeiture of the proceeds of organized crime. It also prohibits participation in the activities of a criminal organization. A number of offences provided for in the Code also apply to activities that, while not unique to organized crime, are often associated with it.
- The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Act requires financial and other institutions to keep records of unusual financial transactions.
- The Seized Property Management Act provides for the maintenance and administration of the assets seized when proceeds of crime are forfeited.
- The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act authorizes law-enforcement agencies to use special detection techniques to investigate money laundering and drug trafficking. This Act also allows police undercover agents to conduct drug-selling operations.
- The Extradition Act has simplified extradition procedures in response to the phenomenon of cross-border crime and takes into account advances made in communications technologies and the increased mobility of individuals.
- The Witness Protection Program Act offers an official national protection program for those who have placed their lives in danger in order to help law-enforcement agencies in their investigations into criminal activity.
1989 - The leaders of the G-7/G-8 established a Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.