CRA raids locations in Toronto, Calgary and West Vancouver in Panama Papers probe

CRA raids locations in Toronto, Calgary and West Vancouver in Panama Papers probe
From CBC - February 14, 2018

Canada Revenue Agency officers, backed up by police, raided locations in three provinces Wednesday as part of a criminal tax-evasion probe stemming from the Panama Papers, the agency said.

About 30 criminal investigators from the CRA executed three search warrants in the Toronto area, Calgary and West Vancouver, with assistance from the RCMP and the West Vancouver police, the CRA said in a statement online.

It's the first time the revenue agency has publicly disclosed details of any of the "several criminal investigations" it has long said it is conducting based on the Panama Papers leak, and could be a sign the CRA is preparing to bring rare criminal charges against people hiding money offshore.

"The CRA's investigation identified a series of transactions involving foreign corporations and several transfers through offshore bank accounts used, allegedly, to evade taxes," the agency said.

The CRA did not identify which people, businesses or locations were targeted. Spokespeople for the agency and for Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier would not provide further information about Wednesday's raids.

West Vancouver police confirmed two of its officers were involved in executing a search warrant there, in a supporting role to CRA agents. The force would not divulge any further details.

The Panama Papers leakwas revealedin April 2016 by a global consortium of media outlets, including the CBC and the Toronto Star in Canada, and a month later the CRAobtained all the recordsthrough official channels.

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