PHOTO: Macdonald-Laurier Institute
For many years, Leuprecht has been warning that Canada has a major blind spot when it comes to money laundering – a crime that contributes to a wide array of other problems ranging from organized crime to the opioid crisis, to corruption, gun violence, high property prices, malign foreign influence, and more.
Indeed, he is one of Canada’s loudest voices in warning that our country is “one of the most attractive places in the world for money laundering, both because our privacy laws are very strong and our investigative powers are very weak.” In 2019, Leuprecht authored a well-received MLI paper discussing the nature of the money laundering challenge and how Canada can start fixing it.
Leuprecht – alongside co-authors Jeff Simser, Arthur Cockfield, Garry Clement – submitted an in-depth report and provided testimony to the Commission that were substantial in terms of their impact on the final Cullen Report. The Commission’s analysis heavily echoes what was featured in the “Leuprecht Report,” sharing findings, recommendations, and observations that were submitted by the authors.
For instance, the Commission’s recommendation that BC establish its own Financial Intelligence and Investigation Unit (FIIU), as well as the scope and nature of what a provincial financial enforcement agency ought to look like, were drawn directly from Leuprecht et al. As the Cullen Report states:
The Commission also found cause for heavy criticism of FINTRAC, noting its failure to successfully tackle money laundering with specific reference to how few actions FINTRAC takes when compared to the many reports it receives from reporting entities. This finding was also drawn from Leuprecht’s contributions:
One of the challenges in addressing money laundering is the requisite level of training for investigators. The Cullen Report also drew from Leuprecht’s work in identifying this challenge and proposing a remedy:
MLI’s experts have been warning about the dangers posed by money laundering in Canada for nearly a decade. The Cullen Commission Report affirms the analysis and scholarship of our experts, highlighting the importance of implementing the kinds of serious policy solutions that one expects from MLI.