Canada’s federal police are investigating whether the US government improperly tracked information on its drug-tracking programme as part of its $10-million investigation.
Canada’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the US Drug Enforcement Administration are also investigating the probe.
Investigators are looking into whether a program operated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that allowed drug-tampering drugs to be tracked through the DEA’s electronic drug-delivery system was a part of a broader drug-trafficking operation, a spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Ottawa said on Tuesday.
The DEA said in a statement that it was “aware of the investigation” and “is cooperating fully with authorities in the US”.
The statement didn’t specify when it may be complete.
An investigation into the matter began in August, when the US Treasury Department’s Office for Foreign Assets Control notified the Canadian government that it had found a foreign financial institution that operated under a US law known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
This law requires foreign financial institutions to report to the US Government the transactions of their clients that involve the use of money obtained through corruption, and it has been used to target suspected drug traffickers and terrorists.
The Canadian investigation began after US prosecutors launched a criminal probe into the foreign bank and found that it is one of more than 500 US financial institutions under investigation for potential violations of the Foreign Corruption Enforcement Act, said the Treasury Department.
The investigation was led by prosecutors in the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office, and led to the seizure of $1.6 million in cash and an unspecified amount of property.
The US Treasury has been investigating Canadian financial institutions over the past year, and last week it announced that the agency was investigating another Canadian financial institution, the Toronto-Dominion Bank, over alleged financial misdeeds related to the drug trade.
The bank is believed to have laundered more than $2.2 billion from foreign governments and individuals in the United States and elsewhere.