News release: An RCMP IPOC Unit and a division of the Canada Revenue Agency receive the 2020 CACP Award of Excellence for Combatting Organized Crime
03/10/21 - 03/10/26
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2021
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OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) is proud to announce the winner of an award recognizing and rewarding the contributions of individuals and/or teams who have exhibited excellence, innovation, and initiative to detect, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations.
This year’s CACP Award of Excellence for Combating Organized Crime celebrates the joint efforts of the Integrated Proceeds of Crime (IPOC) Unit of Division C of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Criminal Investigations Division of the Canada Revenue Agency’s Quebec region for the successful implementation of Project Collecteur.
Project Collecteur was an investigation led by the Quebec RCMP IPOC Unit and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) from 2016 to 2019 as a result of information received from the Drug Enforcement Administration in the United States. Members of the investigated network facilitated the collection of money from criminal groups in Montreal and then laundered the proceeds of their illicit trade. In particular, the network offered a money transfer service to narcotic drug exporting countries and disposed of the accumulated money in Montreal through various individuals and foreign exchange offices in Toronto. The network used an informal value transfer system (IVTS) with connections in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the United States and China. The funds were then returned to drug-exporting countries such as Colombia and Mexico.
On February 11, 2019, investigators (IPOC-CRA) arrested 17 individuals associated with this vast network which was closely linked to several criminal organizations. This investigation, which fully meets one of the strategic priorities of the RCMP and the Canadian Integrated Response to Organized Crime, resulted in the seizure of significant quantities of drugs valued at $2.2 million and the seizure and restraint of assets valued at nearly $30 million. The investigators' creativity in the use of innovative and high-tech investigative techniques uncovered a sophisticated national and international network in addition to the laying of charges in relation to money laundering, trafficking in property obtained by crime, participation in the activities of a criminal organization, as well as importations and exportations.
The collaboration between IPOC Toronto, the Laval Police Service, the Montreal Police Service, the York City Police Service, the Toronto Police Service, FINTRAC and the Forensic Accounting Management group contributed to the success of this case. To date, this is one of the largest money laundering investigations in Canada.
The impact of dismantling this international criminal organization resulted in a strong interest from our partners, including the United States, Lebanon and the five major Canadian banks, to work together to develop strategies to counter these illicit practices and to study best practices to jointly improve our fight against this scourge which threatens the security and quality of life of Canadians and undermines the integrity and stability of our economy. It is important to note the political impact of Project Collector, which was cited on page 240 of the 2019 Federal Budget. This investigation positively influenced the proposal to make legislative amendments to the Criminal Code with respect to trafficking in property obtained by crime in order to provide law enforcement with an important tool in the fight against money laundering.
Quote from Superintendent Chris Renwick, Co-Chair of the CACP’s Organized Crime Committee: "Organized crime groups have tentacles in all regions of the country and their activities negatively impact the economy, health and public safety. Project Collecteur demonstrates that sustained collaborative efforts focused on disrupting criminal networks reap positive results with impacts that were not only felt in Canada but with ripple effects felt around the world."
Quote from Tara Myshrall, Manager, Public Sector Enterprise, ibi, a TIBCO company:
"We are proud to support the CACP Award of Excellence for Combating Organized Crime. Our company prides itself on being dynamic and innovative when it comes to achieving success and results through the use of data and analytics. The same can be said for this year’s winners when it comes to achieving success via the intelligence collected throughout their investigation. Congratulations to this year’s winners.”
For further information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police