Criminal use of cryptocurrency expected to grow, financial intel agency says

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In May 2022, Fintrac published an advisory to help businesses and the public protect themselves against illicit activities tied to underground banking. The advisory spelled out key attributes of underground banking in Canada, particularly through unregistered money services businesses in metropolitan Vancouver, the GTA, and, to some extent, in the Calgary-Edmonton corridor. RECOMMENDED VIDEO Fintrac says it has since seen an increase in reporting on money laundering associated with underground banking, as well as the identification of individuals and entities suspected to be operating unregistered money services businesses. “Suspicious transactions reported to Fintrac have highlighted the significant role of third-party intermediaries, such as professional money launderers and money mules, in facilitating underground banking and the laundering of criminal proceeds,” the report says. Underground banking through unregistered money services businesses continues to be attractive to international figures looking to evade sanctions or engage in other types of illegal activity, such as terrorist financing, the report adds.

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