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Cablegate: Canada's Provisions Against Cash Couriers

VZCZCXRO6957
PP RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0753 1152001
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 252001Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5488
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASH DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS OTTAWA 000753

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAN, EEB/ESC/TFS CANNON, S/CT HILL AND GALER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ETTC KTFN LE PREL PTER CA
SUBJECT: CANADA'S PROVISIONS AGAINST CASH COURIERS

REF: STATE 16120

1. (SBU) Although econoff delivered the points in reftel to
an official from Finance Canada in February, that official
had no comment but offered to set up a meeting for the
Embassy with Canadian officials who are better acquainted
with the problems of illicit cash couriers. To that end, the
EconMinCouns and other embassy officers met with
representatives of Finance Canada and the Canada Border
Services Agency on April 13.

2. (SBU) Vincent Jalbert, Senior Project Leader, Financial
Crimes Division, Department of Finance, explained that
Canada's legislative framework for dealing with illicit cash
couriers and other potential methods for financing terrorist
and criminal activity is based on Financial Action Task Force
(FATF) standards for monitoring, reporting, and record
keeping. Jalbert explained that travelers crossing the
Canadian border are required to declare whether they have
more then 10,000 Canadian Dollars in cash or other bearer
negotiable assets. Any unreported assets can be seized.
Jalbert said that this is a fairly successful program. He
explained that Canada has successfully prosecuted three out
of four offenders under the customs act.

3. (SBU) Jalbert explained that structuring deposits to a
financial institution in such a way as to avoid make a 10,000
dollar deposit that would require reporting, is not against
the law. He also said that while Canada's Financial
Intelligence Unit Fintrac shares information with Fincen in
the United States, the sharing of information is not always
automatic -- in some cases, the information needs to be
specifically requested by Fincen. Furthermore, any
information needs to meet specific legal requirements before
it can be shared. (Note: Embassy officers will meet with
Fintrac officials to learn more about these requirements. End
note.)

4. (SBU) When asked about potential future problems, Jalbert
theorized that stored-value cards could become a problem,
although he was not aware of any current or past cases
involving these cards.

5. (SBU) Meeting participants:
Canadian Side:
Malcolm Wakefield - Senior Economist, Financial Sector
Division, Department of Finance
Vincent Jalbert - Senior Project Leader, Financial Crimes
Division, Department of Finance
Rick Fehr - A/Manager, Borders Enforcement Division, Canada
Border Services Agency
Nathalie Gervais - Senior Program Officer, Contrabands
Program, Canada Border Services Agency

U.S. Side:
Brian Mohler - Economic Minster Counselor
John Considine - Department of Homeland Security Customs and
Border Protection Attache
Hank Connell - Department of Homeland Security Immigration
and Customs Enforcement Assistant Attache
Ryan Stoner - Economic Officer

Visit Canada's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/ottawa

WILKINS

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