Watchdog Says Anti-Money Laundering Agency Still Suspicious

Federal privacy watchdog has recently mentioned in an audit report that Canada’s anti-money laundering agency is still keeping too much personal information about people. In a report authored by privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, he stated that the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre have made very little progress in resolving the issues identified by her in a previous report four years ago.

The centre called FinTRAC is tasked to flag cash linked to money laundering, terrorism and other crimes by examining through data from police, intelligence officers, banks, insurance companies, securities dealers, money service businesses, real estate brokers, casinos and others. The Institution is responsible of reporting large cash transactions or electronic fund transfers that exceed $10,000, along with any transactions where there are reasonable grounds to suspect money laundering or terrorist financing. In his last report published in 2009, Stoddart complained that allegedly dubious transactions were being reviewed and prioritized, which were not assessed for reasonable suspicion of illicit money movement.

In the latest report issued on Thursday, the privacy commissioner alleged that she is disappointed in the latest results. Whereas, in response to the report, FinTRAC spokesman Darren Gibb stated that the agency is acting on Stoddart’s findings and stressed that any sensitive information the organization has collected is not being misused. He stated that “I don’t want to minimize concerns that she’s raised, because we’re moving to address those concerns,” adding that “but Canadians need to be reassured that the information they provide us will be protected, and that is our No. 1 priority.”

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