The Canadian government is to take tougher measures against money laundering and financial terrorism by adding ‘reckless behaviour’ in its Criminal Code.
Under the proposal, transferring money on behalf of an individual when there are money laundering concerns is set to become a criminal offence.
The Department of Finance said that the legislative amendments would “criminalise the activity of moving money on behalf of another person or organisation, while being aware that there is a risk that this activity could be money laundering and continuing with that activity in spite of the risk”.
This was in addition to allocating further funding and expanding existing governmental partnerships to increase the reach of law enforcement when dealing with money laundering and financial terrorism cases.
Guilty by association
“Dismantling complex money laundering networks that fuel criminal activity requires significant investment of time and resources—as well as cooperation across domestic and international law enforcement agencies,” the finance department said.
As the proposal stands, not only the people involved in money laundering and financial terrorism would be tried for criminal offences; but also financial advisers who may have facilitated the movement of money intended to be laundered or to avoid paying tax.
Canadian tax law firm Thorsteinssons said: “These proposals are relevant both to those who do not pay the amount of tax the law requires, and to tax professionals who either intentionally or inadvertently offer services to those who are offside the law.”