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CRA executes 3 search warrants in Panama Papers-related tax investigation

Last Updated Feb 14, 2018 at 2:40 pm PDT

The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on Friday, November 4, 2011. The Canada Revenue Agency says it executed three search warrants today as part of a criminal investigation related to the so-called Panama Papers data leak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

CALGARY – The Canada Revenue Agency says it executed three search warrants Wednesday as part of a criminal investigation related to the so-called Panama Papers data leak.

The CRA says in a statement that about 30 of its criminal investigators, as well as RCMP and West Vancouver Police, searched for evidence at undisclosed locations in Calgary, West Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area.

The tax agency says its investigation identified a series of transactions involving foreign corporations and several transfers through offshore bank accounts allegedly used to evade taxes.

The CRA says it is one of 42 international/offshore tax evasion cases it is currently investigating that involve complex structures and potentially multi-millions of dollars in evaded taxes.

It says it is pursuing additional criminal investigations related to the Panama Papers.

In April 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists received some 11.5 million leaked records from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that showed how some clients avoided taxes.

People convicted of tax evasion can be fined 50 to 200 per cent of the evaded taxes and imprisoned for up to five years.