Canadian 1000 dollar banknotes thought to be in mob hands

 “More than 10 years after the $1,000 bill disappeared from circulation 946,043 of them are still out there, somewhere. The whereabouts of almost $1-billion worth of the banknotes is a mystery rekindled this month at Quebec’s corruption probe when a witness spoke of a safe over-stuffed with cash, including $1,000 notes, inside a political office. Retired on May 12, 2000, for being mostly used in criminal transactions, any $1,000 note deposited at a bank is destroyed, although the bills — nicknamed “pinkies” by gangsters because of the pinkish-purple ink — remain legal tender. Money-laundering experts believe most of the missing bills continue to circulate among criminal elites who use them to pay large debts, with the recipient, in turn, using them to pay their own debts with only a portion of the notes bleeding off into the legitimate banking system,” Adrian Humphreys wrote for the National Post last week. Humphreys continued, “‘They are used now to pay off IOUs, not as traditional cash. They are used for buying and selling but not for cashing, because they know if they cash them, it is traceable,’ said Jeffrey Robinson, a New York-based author of several landmark books on money laundering. ‘They keep paying with them, over and over, and it’s only the last guy in line who has to worry about cashing them.’ The notes were retired as part of the fight against organized crime at the recommendation of the RCMP, said Jeremy Harrison, spokesman for the Bank of Canada. Read the full article here. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

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