World’s first bi-national government issued digital currency launched in Middle East

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced yesterday in Abu Dhabi that they have created and launched a joint new bi-national digital currency. The name of the coin has not been released, not the type, not the amount issued, nor its price per coin. According to the governments of both nations, the new Saudi [...]

Money laundering charge a sufficient ground for refusing refugee protection in Canada

In a not-often cited decision from 2011, the Federal Court of Canada upheld a decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada denying a foreign national refugee protection in Canada for serious criminality based on money laundering charges even though the foreign national was never convicted of money laundering. The facts of the case [...]

Two banks allegedly banked Chinese politically exposed persons with alleged proceeds of crime

PEPs from China According to this article in the Vancouver Sun, two Canadian banks opened and maintained a bank account for politically exposed persons from China who are now alleged to have laundered $900,000 in proceeds of crime from China to Canada and the US. The two politically exposed persons are Shilan Zhao (趙世蘭) and her [...]

From Russia with Love – the elusive female terrorist and Russia’s sweeping new anti-terrorism laws

“From Paris With Love”  In a weird case of real life emulating fiction, the mass hunt for the alleged prospective suicide bomber, the so-called “black widow” of Chechnya, Ruzana Ibragimova, before the Sochi Olympic Games is playing out a little like the film “From Paris With Love“, the fictional story of a beautiful female terrorist [...]

Tax evasion, beneficial ownership and money laundering – what are the issues facing Canada at the G8 Summit next week?

A recent article in the Vancouver Sun on the attendance by Stephen Harper at the G8 summit in Ireland and the proposed measures to combat tax evasion contained an interesting statement buried at the end of the article as follows: “international organizations say… Canada has balked at a measure that would identify the true owners of [...]

Canadian woman charged with failure to report importation of money in US that was concealed in underwear

The US has charged a Canadian woman for failing to report the transportation of more than USD$10,000 cash in the country as required by US anti-money laundering legislation. The woman, Moura El-Asmar, is alleged to have sewn $39,000 into her bra and to have attempted to enter the US wearing that bra. She is also [...]

CBSA at Vancouver airport seize $15 million in undeclared funds in a year

According to this article in the Vancouver Sun, the Vancouver airport tops the country with the most seizures of unreported currency by travellers, with over $15 million intercepted in one year. Most of the persons entering or departing the country with undeclared currency originate or are travelling to, China. Under the Proceeds of Crime (Money [...]

Report on illicit transfer of funds out of Russia

Global Financial Integrity has released an interesting study detailing the illicit flow of funds from Russia to other countries. The highlights of the study entitled “Russia: Illicit Financial Flows and the Role of the Underground Economy”, available here, are that: From 1994 – 2011, Russia lost US$211 billion in illicit cash outflow; Most of the [...]

Cross border currency exports or imports – a primer

The government is introducing measures that would allow Canada Border Services Agency officers to question people arriving in or departing from Canada with respect to their responsibilities under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (“PCMLTFA”) and would require FINTRAC to disclose to CBSA, information relevant not only for immigration purposes, but [...]

Canadian officials agree to share cross-border currency reports with U.S.

Officials from Canada’s Border Services Agency (CBSA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have signed an agreement that requires the countries to notify one another when more than $10,000 in currency is seized at the border. The Memorandum of Understanding for the Sharing of Currency Seizure Information is based on [...]