FINTRAC, law enforcement and intelligence partners:
Sharing intelligence, making the links
Updated March 1st, 2016
Financial intelligence can assist your investigation. Knowing more about financial transactions associated with a suspected criminal activity can help identify new targets, locate hidden proceeds of crime and provide the supporting information necessary to obtain warrants.
What is FINTRAC?
The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, known as FINTRAC, is Canada's financial intelligence unit (FIU).
We contribute to the public safety of Canadians and help protect the integrity of Canada's financial system through the detection and deterrence of money laundering and terrorist activity financing.
To achieve this, we are mandated by the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) to provide operational support to our domestic and international law enforcement and intelligence partners and to give strategic advice to the Government of Canada.
How does FINTRAC assist in investigations?
Our perspective is unique and so too is our product. Each year, FINTRAC's database receives about 20 million transactional reports from approximately 31,000 sources in a variety of Canadian business sectors.
We help make investigative links by connecting the money to the crime. Through extensive analysis, those transactions and patterns that are suspected of relating to money laundering, terrorist activity financing or other threats to the security of Canada are linked to form the basis of our intelligence product for you.
That product is disclosed as tactical financial intelligence (typically referred to as a "disclosure") to the appropriate investigative and intelligence organizations at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. Such organizations include any police service in Canada, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), provincial and territorial securities commissions, among others.
What value can FINTRAC's financial intelligence provide?
Timeliness: FINTRAC receives 99% of its reports electronically. Consequently, the millions of financial transaction reports provided to FINTRAC can be accessed, collated, and analyzed quickly. This means a timely analysis of financial intelligence facilitating the likelihood of a successful investigation and/or prosecution. Knowing our partners' critical investigative dates and anticipated timelines further assists in this success.
Relevance: FINTRAC must disclose designated information to appropriate recipients once reasonable grounds to suspect a money laundering, terrorist activity financing offence or a threat to the security of Canada are met. A disclosure suggests where to look for evidence of suspected money laundering or terrorist activity financing and in many cases, helps develop criteria to obtain search warrants. It provides a factual account of each financial transaction relevant to an investigation, referred to as "designated information."
This designated information can:
- Identify new targets and associates;
- Confirm suspicions on existing targets and associates; and
- Expose the flow of suspicious funds and accounts, both domestically and internationally.
Usability: A single disclosure may contain information on several related transactions. It often includes an overview of the transactions and a listing broken down by person, entity or institution where the transactions occurred, as well as a graphic chart illustrating the network of transactions undertaken. FINTRAC staff involved in each case are also available to assist you directly throughout the investigation, where appropriate. Disclosures are made and shared electronically through secure means and are also available in paper format.
What a FINTRAC case disclosure contains:
Designated information contained within a FINTRAC disclosure
- Name (including alias), date of birth, address, telephone number, electronic mail address, occupation, business activities and gender;
- Citizenship, passport number, record of landing number or permanent resident card number;
- Relevant details of the criminal record and any criminal charges of a person/entity involved or acting on their behalf;
- Relationships between persons/entities suspected on reasonable grounds to be involved;
- Financial interest of a person in an entity on whose behalf suspected transactions were made or attempted;
- Name of person suspected on reasonable grounds to direct the transaction, attempted transaction, importation or exportation; and
- Name and address of any person on whose behalf the transaction or attempted transaction is conducted or on whose behalf the importation or exportation is carried out.
- Corporation name and number, incorporation date and jurisdiction, address, telephone number, electronic mail address type of business/business activities;
- Name, address, electronic mail address and telephone number for each partner, director or officer of an entity suspected to be involved;
- Name of any person or entity acting on their behalf;
- Address and telephone number of principal place of business;
- Relevant details of the criminal record and any criminal charges of an entity involved or any person or entity acting on their behalf;
- Relationships between persons/entities suspected on reasonable grounds to be involved;
- Financial interest of an entity on whose behalf suspected transactions were made or attempted;
- Name of entity suspected on reasonable grounds to direct the transaction, attempted transaction, importation or exportation; and
- Name and address of any entity on whose behalf the transaction or attempted transaction is conducted or on whose behalf the importation or exportation is carried out.
Account / transaction information
- Transit and account number, type of transaction or attempted transaction, date and time of transaction or attempted transaction;
- Value of transaction, attempted transaction or of funds that are the subject of the transaction or attempted transaction;
- Name, address and telephone number of the place of business where the transaction or attempted transaction occurred;
- Type of account and transaction number;
- Full name of every account holder and names of parties to the transaction;
- Name and address of all persons authorized to act in respect of the account; and
- Remittance information on international funds transfers.
- Number and types of reports on which a disclosure is based; and
- Number and categories of persons or entities that made these reports.
Importation or exportation
- Address of the customs office where the importation or exportation occurred;
- Date the importation or exportation occurred;
- Amount and type of currency or monetary instruments involved; and
- Information about the circumstances of seizures of cash or monetary instruments.
- Relevant grounds on which a person or entity made a suspicious transaction or attempted suspicion transaction report and subsequent actions taken by the reporting entity; and
- Indicators of a money laundering offense, a terrorist activity financing offence or a threat to the security of Canada related to the transaction, attempted transaction, importation or exportation.
What information does FINTRAC use in its analysis?
The backbone of FINTRAC's disclosure product is the financial transaction information provided by Canadian businesses that are required by law to report to us, *see Who Must Report (below). Under the PCMLTFA and its accompanying regulations, financial institutions and intermediaries are required to report to FINTRAC certain types of transactions.
The PCMLTFA also obliges anyone importing or exporting large sums of cash or monetary instruments to report this to CBSA. These reports are then forwarded to FINTRAC. The PCMLTFA further compels CBSA to submit reports to FINTRAC related to cross-border currency seizures.
FINTRAC relies on other tools to maximize the disclosure product's effectiveness. Here, the PCMLTFA also gives FINTRAC the added analytical capacity to:
- Receive information provided voluntarily by law enforcement, intelligence agencies, securities commissions, other financial intelligence units around the world as well as from the general public. This assists our analysis in developing relevant financial intelligence to support ongoing investigations;
- Collect publicly available information, including information from commercial databases;
- Enter into agreements to access databases maintained by federal, provincial or foreign governments as well as international organizations' databases not available to the public for purposes related to law enforcement; and
- Enter into information-sharing agreements with foreign FIUs. Money laundering and terrorist activity financing are a global challenge. This information can be crucial to investigations involving the movement of funds and can also assist domestic partners in identifying investigative links internationally. FINTRAC currently has information-sharing agreements with over 90 foreign FIUs.
* Who must report
- Financial entities (including banks, credit unions, caisses populaires, trust and loan companies);
- Life insurance companies, brokers or agents;
- Provincially authorized securities dealers, portfolio managers and investment counselors;
- Money services businesses (including currency exchanges and alternative remittance systems, such as Hawala, Hundi, Chitti, and others);
- Agents of the Crown accepting deposit liabilities or selling money orders;
- Accountants and/or accounting firms (when carrying out certain activities on behalf of their clients);
- Real estate brokers, sales representatives, developers;
- Dealers in precious metals and stones; and
- BC notaries.
What is reported
- Suspicious transactions (including attempted transactions) related to money laundering or terrorist activity financing;
- Possession or control of terrorist property;
- International electronic funds transfers of $10,000 or more;
- Large cash transactions of $10,000 or more;
- Casino disbursements of $10,000 or more;
- Cross-border seizures of $10,000 or more in currency or monetary instruments; and
- Cross-border movements of $10,000 or more in currency or monetary instruments.*
* Unlike other reporting requirements outlined above that apply to designated sectors of activity, any person or entity must declare the importation or exportation of $10,000 or more in currency or monetary instruments into or out of Canada to the CBSA.
What triggers a FINTRAC case?
FINTRAC's information holdings are vast and ever-growing. To help focus on what is relevant for analysis, FINTRAC relies on 'case initiators', which generally include:
- Voluntary information provided by law enforcement, intelligence partners, securities commissions and the public;
- Information provided by FINTRAC's partner FIUs;
- Suspicious transaction reports;
- A suspicious pattern of transactions;
- Cross-border seizure reports provided by CBSA; and
- Publically available information, such as current news in the media.
FINTRAC's business process
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View the text equivalent for FINTRAC's Business Process
This chart separates the three main stages in FINTRAC's business process: receiving information, conducting analysis and disclosing intelligence.
For receiving information, the initiating factor is a financial transaction, such as a currency exchange, deposit, jewellery sale or purchase, money transfer or real estate purchase.
A report is sent to FINTRAC when these transactions are made through the following financial institutions or intermediaries: accountants; banks; British Columbia Notaries, caisses populaires; Canada Post, casinos, co-op credit societies; credit unions; dealers in precious metals and stones, foreign exchange dealers; life insurance companies, brokers or agents; money services businesses; provincial savings offices; real estate developers brokers or sales representatives; securities dealers or trust and loan companies.
The various report types these entities send to FINTRAC are casino disbursement reports, electronic funds transfer reports, large cash transaction reports, suspicious transaction reports and terrorist property reports. FINTRAC also receives cross border currency seizure reports and cross border currency reports from the Canada Border Services Agency. The Centre monitors the quality and quantity of the reports it receives.
Reports are received in FINTRAC's database. FINTRAC also has access to external databases, foreign financial intelligence units and voluntary information. In the second stage, FINTRAC analyses the reports it receives along with other information in order detect suspected money laundering, terrorist activity financing, and other threats to the security of Canada. It develops financial intelligence by establishing identification, grouping related transactions and querying databases.
FINTRAC provides or develops financial intelligence by: establishing identification, grouping related transactions or querying databases.
Disclosing intelligence is the third and final stage in FINTRAC's business process. In this stage, financial intelligence pertaining to suspected cases of money laundering or terrorist activity financing, or threats to the security of Canada is disclosed to law enforcement or intelligence agencies, or foreign financial intelligence units, Canada Revenue Agency, Canada Border Services Agency, Provincial/Territorial Securities Commissions where appropriate.
What other assistance can FINTRAC provide?
In order to keep pace with the evolving trends in criminal activity, FINTRAC also conducts strategic analysis, producing a wide range of products that reveal existing and developing forms of illegal money movements. These products provide FINTRAC's unique perspective on a particular sector (such as banking, casino, alternative remittance and securities) or theme (such as drugs or fraud). Our partners are encouraged to inform us of their investigative priorities so that FINTRAC can develop the most relevant and useful strategic analysis products.
For further information regarding how FINTRAC can support your investigative efforts, please email us at:
This is an unsecure email address. Please contact us first for guidance should you wish to send confidential information. Please note that FINTRAC will only respond to emails bearing the appropriate police or government partner domain name.
Telephone: 1-866-346-8722 (toll free)
Facsimile: (613) 943-7931
24th Floor, 234 Laurier Avenue West
- Date Modified: