Fintrac Warns Against Dirty Drafts

By Ben Hamill - December 30 2019

money laundering

There’s a brand new money laundering monster rearing its ugly head in the provinces. Money laundering via direct electronic bank transfer. Fin-watchdog the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac) recently issued a stern warning to Canadian casinos, cautioning about the fact that those interested in laundering dirty money are no longer trawling the passages with duffle-bags full to the brim with cash, but are instead going one step further by making use of ill-begotten dirty bank accounts.

The latest trend is without a doubt the direct result of the crackdown that followed the release of a trilogy of damning 2018/2019 reports published by former Mountie Dr. Peter German, on how casinos are being taken for a money laundering ride whilst being in the majority of cases, negligently unaware of the fact.

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Same Crime, Different Vehicle

Now that the country’s operators are on the high alert and rigorously inspecting any cash transaction for signs of questionable activity, criminals have taken to making use of electronic transfers into operators’ accounts instead. Making use of bank drafts for getting money into operators’ hands and extracting squeaky clean money on the other side is on the rise and will eventually, much like what had happened in 2018 and early 2019, end up blowing up in everybody’s faces if casinos don’t action certain precautionary measures focused particularly on draft payments, said Fintrac.

The fact that criminals are now able to do their thing without having to as much as associate even a runner’s face with criminal activities and money laundering shenanigans only mean that they now feel free to fully engage with their crimes of choice in an even more elusive and anonymous manner than ever before.

What To Look Out For

In addition to having cautioned operators to be more vigilant about the nature of electronic draft payments received from patrons; and especially so in areas classified as high-risk areas; Fintrac has also released a checklist of sorts providing certain hints as to what managers at casinos should be looking out for and flagging as red-light activity.

A telltale sign is usually the employment status of the holder of a bank account. Most of the accounts used for money laundering purposes will be marked “unemployed”. This is despite multiple deposits and withdrawals coming in and going out of those accounts every day. The amounts too, tend to be quite big.

Another sign that all isn’t how it’s being made to look to be is when someone insists on paying exclusively with bank drafts only. No cash or typical payments by means of standard debit and credit cards generally indicates that something more than just another big-spender in on the game for a good time may be in the works.

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