Money-Services Businesses

Montréal - The Autorité des marchés financiers (the "AMF"), in collaboration with the Sûreté du Québec and the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal ("SPVM" or Montréal police services), conducted a series of searches in the greater Montréal area today relating to offences under the Money-Services Businesses Act (the "Act").

More than 60 officers from the Sûreté du Québec and the SPVM as well as approximately thirty AMF investigators spoke with witnesses and conducted seven searches-six in Montréal and one in Valleyfield.

In November 2014, the AMF asked the Sûreté du Québec for assistance in enforcing the Act in order to dismantle the operations of five businesses involved in cheque cashing, currency exchange and funds transfers without a licence. The Sûreté du Québec co-ordinated the investigation and asked Revenu Québec as well as the Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (ministry of labour, employment and social solidarity) for their collaboration. The investigation is ongoing and is being overseen by the AMF.

Since June 2013, under the Act, the owner of a private automatic teller machine as well as a business that offers any of the following services must hold a licence issued by the AMF: currency exchange, funds transfers and cheque cashing. The Act aims to eliminate money laundering and tax evasion through such businesses.

Since the Act was passed, the AMF has provided money services businesses with extensive information, communicated directly with the industry and even sent reminders to them as necessary. The grace period is now over and the AMF plans to crack down on businesses that do not fully comply with the Act.

For over ten years, the Sûreté du Québec, the SPVM, Revenu Québec and the Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale have worked together to dismantle major schemes to defraud the government involving money services businesses.

The Autorité des marchés financiers (the "AMF") is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.

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