Stepping Up the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime

July 4, 2013 - Beijing - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement announcing that Canada and China will work even more closely to combat transnational crime through the seizure, sharing and return of proceeds of crime:

“Our government is committed to standing up for victims of crime. Today’s agreement will allow Canada and China, for the first time, to share the proceeds of crime seized from criminals in investigations involving Canadian and Chinese investigators.

“The agreement also reinforces our commitment to work with Chinese authorities to help return stolen assets to their legitimate owners—whether they’re in Canada or China.

“In all cases, Canada’s assistance is provided in accordance with Canadian domestic law.

“Both countries are committed to combatting transnational crime, and criminals need to know that we won’t sit idle while they profit at the expense of others.

“Canada is not, and will not be seen as, a safe haven for the proceeds of crime.

“This agreement is just the latest signal of maturing and strengthened relations between Canada and China.”

A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Agreement on the Sharing of Forfeited Assets and the Return of Property

Negotiations have concluded on the Agreement Between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Canada Regarding the Sharing of Forfeited Assets and the Return of Property. This responds to outcomes expressed in the Canada-China Joint Statement of December 2009 and the Joint List of Outcomes of February 2012. Both countries must now complete their internal processes for signing and ratifying the agreement to bring it into force. Canadian law requires that a formal asset-sharing agreement be in place with a foreign state before any forfeited proceeds of crime can be shared with that country. The conclusion of this agreement will add China to the list of countries with which Canada can share the proceeds of crime when it receives assistance in investigations and from which Canada can, in turn, receive a share of proceeds of crime in recognition of its investigative assistance to China.

The agreement also reinforces existing provisions in the treaty on mutual legal assistance between Canada and China dealing with the return of stolen assets to lawful owners.

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