Spotted in Calgary, a national money laundering ring has been dismantled
Investigators estimate that the group transferred at least $24 million in one year.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and an Alberta provincial squad have dismantled a money laundering organization money that was doing business with several criminal groups across the country. Seven people were arrested.
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERTs) announced on Wednesday the conclusion of an investigation, conducted jointly with the RCMP for three years. The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC), a federal entity specializing in money laundering, also participated in the investigation.
The criminal organization operated pseudo banks that were used by organized crime to launder and transfer money across the country. For Nicolas LaForge, the RCMP corporal in charge of the investigation, “any criminal group that wished to use their services could do so”.
The network allowed, for example, drug traffickers to move their proceeds between Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Although the authorities are struggling to estimate the precise extent of the network, they estimate that in one year, nearly 24 million dollars passed through its various branches.
“Since 2013, this group has moved tens of millions of dollars across the country, if not hundreds of millions.
— Nicolas LaForge, RCMP Corporal and Head of Investigation
Seven people were arrested in September and face a total of 71 charges . A dozen homes were also searched in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Assets seized have an estimated value of $16 million.
With information from Jonathon Sharp