Suspicious payments from abroad to accounts at Desjardins and the National Bank are among the data of the latest international financial information leak.
The information released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) yesterday comes from more than 2,100 bank statements to the United States' financial intelligence agency, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), between 1999 and 2017.
US financial institutions must report to this agency any significant transaction that they suspect of contributing to money laundering, above US $ 10,000 (CAD $ 13,300).
Among the data that the ICIJ has obtained and published, a portion concerns payments to Canadian institutions, totaling nearly US $ 33 million (CAD $ 43.9 million).
However, the ICIJ did not disclose any names of individuals or companies who benefited from these payments.
$ 1.6 million
Among the financial institutions concerned: Caisse centrale Desjardins and Desjardins Bank of Florida.
The records obtained by the ICIJ notably cover 10 payments into accounts at Desjardins, worth nearly $ 1.6 million.
Among these payments, published data reveals four transactions totaling $ 649,970 from the First Caribbean International Bank of Barbados, a notorious tax haven, in 2012 and 2013.
They also contain a suspicious payment of $ 44,500 to an account at Desjardins from the Bank of Kabul in Afghanistan, in 2013.
Desjardins did not answer our questions about these payments since the laws require it to preserve the confidentiality of financial transactions.
“We cannot answer your questions, because that would contravene the applicable regulations on the protection of personal information and the regulations on the fight against money laundering,” writes spokesperson Chantal Corbeil in an email.
The leak also contains information on two 2013 payments totaling $ 220,000 to the National Bank from Hong Kong.
Contacted by our Investigation Office, spokesperson Jean-François Cadieux did not want to comment.
The ICIJ also unveils 55 transactions notified to FinCEN from 2011 to 2014 concerning the Bank of Montreal, for a total of more than $ 13 million.
According to the data, some payments seem to have ended up in accounts of this financial institution in the metropolis, coming from the United States and Sweden.