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Fintrac fines B.C. jeweller $66K for anti-money laundering violations

The fine was imposed in June.
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Austin Jewellers was fined $66,000 by Fintrac in June 2023.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac) has issued a $66,000 administrative penalty to a now-closed jeweller in Coquitlam.

Austin Jewellers, once operated by Frank Suppanz and Lisa Suppanz, failed to develop written compliance policies and procedures and failed to assess and document the money laundering and terrorist activity financing risk, according to the federal financial transactions watchdog.

Fintrac announced the fine for non-compliance with Part 1 of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act on Tuesday, although it was imposed on June 27, according to a brief statement.

“Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime is in place to protect the safety of Canadians and the security of Canada’s economy. Fintrac is committed to working with businesses to help them understand and comply with their obligations under the act. We will also be firm in ensuring that businesses continue to do their part and we will take appropriate actions when they are needed,” said Fintrac CEO Sarah Paquet.

The centre, as noted on its website, analyzes information and discloses financial intelligence to police, law enforcement and national security agencies to assist their investigations of money laundering, terrorist activity financing and threats to the security of Canada.

Jewellers or “dealers in precious metals and precious stones” must fulfil specific obligations of the act once it “engages in the purchase or sale of precious metals, precious stones or jewelry in the amount of $10,000 or more.”

The sales include sales of precious metals, precious stones or jewelry that are left on consignment but do not include those in auctions.

On Feb. 7, 2022, Fintrac fined Montecristo Jewellers $222,750 for four violations.

gwood@glaciermedia.ca