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RCMP investigation: multi-billion dollar money laundering network Toronto

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Cameron Ortis, a senior RCMP official accused of violating the Canadian Secrets Act, October 22, 2019.

Radio-Canada

The former director of intelligence for the RCMP allegedly tried to sell secret information to a man accused of laundering money for terrorists. This is what was revealed at the trial of Cameron Ortis.

Newly released documents reveal Canadian involvement in an international investigation into a alleged money laundering network active in the Greater Toronto Area, which authorities believe is linked to a man accused of laundering money for terrorists.

Altaf Khanani, a Pakistani national, has been under surveillance by international law enforcement since at least 2008, when he was arrested in his home country for allegedly transferring money illegally.

The US State Department has accused Mr Khanani, who has previously been described as one of the world's most wanted fraudsters, of laundering billions of dollars for organized crime and groups terrorists, including Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Documents released during the trial of Mr. Ortis, former director of intelligence for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), charged with four counts of violating the Security of Information Act, reveal the extent to which the Canada was involved in the coordinated effort to investigate Mr. Khanani and shows that Canadian intelligence believed he was a central figure in an alleged money laundering ring in the Greater Toronto Area. p>

According to documents released during the trial, representatives of the Group of Five – an intelligence alliance between Australia, Canada, New Zealand , the United Kingdom and the United States – met in September 2014 and agreed to share intelligence and information on Mr. Khanani's activities.

Altaf Khanani, based in the United Arab Emirates, is alleged to run a multibillion-dollar international money laundering organization, says a September 2014 RCMP report.

The RCMP report identifies a company linked to Mr. Khanani as a priority threat […] due to its use by organized crime or terrorist groups to launder the proceeds of crime.

A second RCMP investigation report, also included in the trial documents, indicates that intelligence in Canada identified several agents working for Mr Khanani.

Project Oryx is the RCMP's code name for its investigation into the alleged money laundering scheme based in the Greater Toronto Area. The investigation identified suspects.

One ​​of the RCMP reports presented to the court indicates that FINTRAC, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada, reported to the RCMP more than 3 .5 billion dollars in financial transactions from one company.

A report from the RCMP's National Intelligence Coordination Center (NICC), included in court documents, recommended investigating two Ontario-based businessmen to examine their possible connections to Mr. Khanani. It also identified five Ontario companies potentially linked to Mr. Khanani's business, directly or indirectly.

Mr. Ortis, 51, is the former director general of intelligence for the RCMP and is accused of trying to sell top secret information.

He faces six counts, including three counts of intentional and unauthorized sharing of special operational information and one count of attempted sharing Special Operational Information.

Mr. Ortis' trial began Tuesday and is expected to last eight weeks. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

Emails found on a USB drive seized from Mr. Ortis were presented as evidence and suggest he was trying to contact Mr. Khanani and share secret information with him.

Mr. Ortis's lawyers have not yet presented their case, but have hinted that they will argue that& #x27;he acted with authorization.

After an extensive, multi-year investigation involving five countries, Mr. Khanani was arrested in Panama and faces 14 counts of money laundering in Florida.

This arrest stems from an unprecedented level of sharing and operational cooperation between Five Eyes partners, and the lessons learned from this case are already being applied to subsequent investigations into complex criminal networks, FBI spokesman Randall Coleman said in 2016.

US court documents show Mr Khanani accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to a single charge of money laundering conspiracy. He was sentenced to more than five years in prison in Miami and fined $250,000.

With information from CBC News

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116