Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

October 15, 2009 19:21 ET

Public Safety Minister Van Loan Comments on First-Ever Charges Laid in Alberta Under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2009) - The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, made the following statement today in response to a joint RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seizure of approximately USD $477,000 U.S. in alleged proceeds of crime and money laundering activities.

"Once again, cooperation between law enforcement from Canada and the United States has resulted in making our streets and communities safer," explained Minister Van Loan. "These charges, the first ever-ever laid in Alberta under the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act, are a clear sign of Canada's commitment to the global fight against organized crime. This government continues to support the efforts of law enforcement, and their successful efforts to disrupt criminal activity and protect innocent victims."

The charges laid include, under the Criminal Code, possession of the proceeds of crime and laundering the proceeds of crime. As well, a charge of failure to report the importation of currency into Canada has been laid under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. As per the requirements under the Act, any undeclared amount over CAD $10,000 can be legally seized and individuals must prove that the money was not obtained through the proceeds of crime.

The Government has introduced new measures in the House of Commons to target organized crime and gang violence including legislation that would impose:

- Mandatory jail time for people involved in serious drug crimes; and

- New penalties in the area of property theft, including auto theft.

The Government has also recently passed legislation that makes murders connected to organized crime activity automatically murders in the first degree.

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