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In Alberta, financial crime is real – proceeds of crime are the financial gains from illegal activities such as human trafficking, drug production/trafficking, firearm trafficking and other criminal activity.
Organized crime nominees, proceeds of crime and money laundering undermine Alberta’s economy and contribute to violence in our communities. Financial crime is an unavoidable step in all criminal markets to legitimize earnings, run operations, and live an illicitly profitable life.
Proceeds of crime are any financial gains resulting from committing a crime. This can be cash from a drug sale, but could also be a vehicle or a house.
Complicit nominees help organized crime groups or criminals by doing jobs or lending/selling property 'under the table,' or helping launder proceeds.
A process used to hide the true source of money/assets that come from illegal means by placing, layering and integrating proceeds in the legitimate economy.
Organized crime groups can leverage an individual’s vulnerabilities (or those of a business) to start and perpetuate a nominee-style relationship, which could involve registering vehicles under the nominee’s name, using their communication devices, fraudulently purchasing their car, laundering money through their business, and more.
Nominees either choose or are forced to be complicit. Sometimes, it gets violent.
Given that organized crime is financially motivated, ALERT Financial Crimes Teams manage the organized crime financial aspect of ongoing investigations taken on by any/all ALERT units. Their expertise follows the money to apprehend serious criminals and keep Alberta communities safe.
ALERT Financial Crimes Teams coordinate and work with external partners such as FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) during investigations to shed light on how the criminal transactions are flowing through the legitimate financial infrastructure provincially, nationally and internationally.
Proceeds of crime seized during ALERT (or any police agency in the province) operations are forwarded to the Civil Forfeiture Office. Proceeds are then used to compensate victims of serious crime, as well as fund family violence shelters and gang-reduction programs.
While seizing drugs, firearms and other illicit commodities is an important part of organized crime reduction, hitting the wallets of criminals is key in preventing them from furthering their criminal enterprises using money they already have from previous activity.
Along with money, ALERT also seizes and restrains other physical proceeds of crime such as cars and houses that are used for criminal activity or for the personal pleasure purpose of criminals.
FINTRAC Illustrates a money laundering case: