FINTRAC publishes indicators of money laundering linked to fentanyl trafficking

News Release

January 31, 2018 – Ottawa – Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC)

FINTRAC today published an Operational Alert, Laundering of the Proceeds of Fentanyl Trafficking, to assist businesses subject to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act in reporting suspicious financial transactions that may be linked to the trafficking of illicit fentanyl, an opioid that is devastating many Canadian communities.

Developed from a strategic analysis of FINTRAC’s financial intelligence and in consultation with a number of Canadian financial institutions and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the money laundering indicators show how drug traffickers exploit the financial system to acquire fentanyl and to launder the proceeds of this illicit activity.

This Operational Alert will support a new broader public-private sector initiative, Project Guardian. This project will see the mobilized efforts of Canadian financial institutions and money services businesses, under the leadership of CIBC, FINTRAC and Canada’s law enforcement agencies brought to bear to combat the trafficking of illicit fentanyl. With enhanced suspicious transaction reporting related to fentanyl, FINTRAC will be able to disclose additional financial intelligence in support of the money laundering and drug trafficking investigations of its law enforcement regime partners.


“FINTRAC is committed to working with Canadian financial institutions, money services businesses and Canada’s law enforcement agencies to help tackle the national health crisis caused by the trafficking of illicit fentanyl. Together, and in close alignment with the Government of Canada’s broader efforts in relation to the opioid epidemic, we are going to follow the money to help identify the drug traffickers and safeguard vulnerable communities.”

Barry MacKillop, Interim Director, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada

Quick Facts

  • In 2016-17, FINTRAC provided 2,015 disclosures of actionable financial intelligence to Canada’s police, law enforcement and national security agencies to assist their investigations of money laundering, terrorist activity financing and other threats to Canada’s security.

  • Drugs were identified in 20% of the Centre’s financial intelligence disclosures last year.

  • In July 2017, FINTRAC’s financial intelligence was recognized by the Peel Regional Police as part of      Project Cartella, an investigation that resulted in the arrest of 16 individuals and nearly three million dollars’ worth of fentanyl and other drugs seized.

  • In December 2016, FINTRAC published the Operational Alert, The Laundering of Illicit Proceeds from Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation, which led to a 400% increase in suspicious transaction reports from the previous year.

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