Ministerial and Other Meetings
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 10, 1997 -- Canada will overhaul its Extradition Act and tighten laws on money laundering as part of its effort to combat transnational organized crime, Minister of Justice Anne McLellan and Solicitor General Andy Scott told a meeting today of G-8 Ministers of Justice and the Interior in Washington.
Governments of the G-8 nations underscored the importance of working with each other and with private industry in the fight against high-tech crime. Ministers discussed issues such as crimes facilitated by new technologies and computers, and the increasingly complex and global nature of organized crime. They also reached a consensus on the need for enhanced co-operation and mutual legal assistance in fighting transnational crime. It was agreed they would work to reduce the ability of criminals to use new technologies to hide from the law, and also to make penalties associated with computer crimes sufficient to warrant extradition.
"International co-operation at this level is essential," said Minister McLellan. "New technologies are making communication easier for everyone, and criminals are no exception. I plan to overhaul Canada's Extradition Act to better meet our international commitments, and ensure that Canada does not become a safe haven from which criminals can operate."
"As I said in my recent statement in Parliament on organized crime," said Mr. Scott, "I am developing tougher laws on reporting of suspicious financial transactions and international money laundering to help Canada's police domestically and in their co-operative work with international counterparts."
A number of the legislative and non-legislative measures taken by Canada to fight crime domestically can apply to cross-border crime. As an example, Canada recently proposed amendments to the Competition Act to make deceptive telemarketing a crime and facilitate the prosecution and conviction of telemarketing fraud artists. This was recommended in a recent Canada-U.S. bilateral report on telemarketing.
Today's meeting, hosted by Attorney General Janet Reno, was the first-ever meeting of such Ministers to discuss international organized crime and was a follow-up to decisions made at the Denver Summit last June. Principles and an Action Plan have been developed from the meeting and will be implemented immediately. A progress report is expected to be tabled at the Birmingham Summit in May 1998.
Office of the Minister of Justice
Office of the Solicitor General
Source: Canada, Dept. of Justice
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