How many Russian goods seized in Canada? Ottawa is stingy with comments | War in Ukraine

In a written response to Radio-Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said that at this time, the RCMP cannot provide details on the total value of the frozen assets, but hopes to release numbers to the public shortly.

These figures will only be known after the adoption of the budget, affirmed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, on April 27, before a meeting of the Liberal caucus. Ottawa has included in the budget plan provisions to seize and sell Russian assets, but also to know their value.

The law will make it possible to seek information. We will be able to work with banks, work with different sources who could be aware of the assets, the people we are targeting, the oligarchs we are targeting. […] One of the frustrations I had was precisely not being able to sell these assets, not being able to know their valuesaid the minister.

For their part, the opposition parties are calling for more transparency.

Lack of responsibility, criticizes the opposition

For the Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party, Luc Berthold, knowing the amount of frozen assets is necessary to assess the effectiveness of the strategy of economic sanctions adopted by the federal government.

Canadians have the right to know whether indeed, at this time, everything is being done to ensure that the fortunes of the Russian oligarchs who support Vladimir Putin’s regime are really frozen, and that there is no access to continue his horrible war against Ukraine.

Civil guards stand near the yacht called Tango in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Monday, April 4, 2022.

US federal agents and the Spanish Civil Guard search the yacht belonging to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselbergen on April 4.

Photo: Associated Press/Francisco Ubilla

Same story from Alexandre Boulerice, Quebec lieutenant of the New Democratic Party. There is no transparency and the government is sticking its chest out. He says he is tough on the oligarchs and Vladimir Putin’s regime, but in fact, there is no one in the government who is in charge of freezing the assets of these people here in Canada. So is this a joke? It’s just wind.

Indeed, within the government, no central body is responsible for listing Russian assets and overseeing the freezing of assets. Rather, according to the RCMP, the onus is on all Canadians to freeze assets and suspend transactions related to those designated by the economic sanctions.

A structural problem that limits the effectiveness of sanctions, criticizes in turn Christine Normandin, deputy leader of the Bloc Québécois. When we are answered: “It’s the job of everyone”, in the end, it is that it is the job belongs to nobody. It would have been necessary to ensure at least that there is a rendering of accounts which is done by the banks for example, which have the capacity to seize. But if we just say: “They will do it themselves”, somewhere, we escape our responsibility.

Canada, breeding ground for money laundering

The war in Ukraine revealed a truth long known to experts, according to Patrice Poitevin, director general of the Anti-Corruption Center of Excellence: Canada is ill-equipped to uncover foreign assets within its economy.

Without a national register of beneficial ownership, it is very difficult, according to him, to identify the assets of the Russian oligarchs who are often present in front companies or front companies.

Canada is a destination for money laundering […] because other countries, like England, other countries in Europe, have put in more aggressive, more rigorous processesexplains the former RCMP officer.

Two weeks ago, the European Union was also pleased to have frozen $41.3 billion in Russian assets.

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