Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz arrives at a news conference upon the release of the Monetary Policy Report in Ottawa October 23, 2013.
Radio Canada and CBC have revealed several scrupulous ways which organized mafias used ATMS for money laundering activities.
About 38,000 ATMs across Canada are called 'white label' cash machines as they are not owned by any bank. This number may double when compared to the number of ATMs owned by a bank.
ATM is a growing industry that seems pretty lucrative. They are easily located in food courts, bars and hotels. They are extremely popular for providing quick cash in lieu of a surcharge. But experts believe these machines play a more despicable role.
Garry Clement, a retired RCMP officer who is an international authority on money laundering, has articulated about the vulnerability of ATMs across the country.
He said white-label ATMs are currently in every bar or strip club in Canada. Many of these ATMs are linked with groups involved in organized crimes.
He told CBC News that the ATMs could be used to clean up illicit money by mixing it up with legitimate one.
According to one of the reports by RCMP, organized crime group Hells Angels controls about 5 percent of the white label ATMs in the country. Although hard evidence is not yet available, the report noted about $315 million could be laundered every year through the white label ATMs.
Earlier, police issued charges against three people in Quebec five years back due to using ATMs for money laundering. The verdict is expected in 2014.
FINTRAC cautioned the government in 2007 regarding the risk involved in white label ATMs. FINTRAC is the federal agency which collects and analyzes financial transaction records. The report specifically emphasized the anonymity involved in money laundering through the use of these ATMs.
Reports noted white label ATMs are often resold to different people and not always informed to the hierarchy.
To contact the editor, e-mail: