Canadian authorities red-pencilled almost $4.3 billion in suspect assets belonging to dictators, allegedly corrupt officials and others in response to the Arab Spring uprisings, newly disclosed documents say.
An RCMP briefing note says the national police force’s federal policing branch worked with the Foreign Affairs Department, Public Safety, security intelligence agencies and Canadian banks to “identify and freeze” the assets.
The note, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, paints a picture of the extent to which Canadian officials toiled behind the scenes to drain the financial lifeblood of Arab dictatorships.
The agencies relied on an array of sanctions and legislative tools to freeze money and property linked to regimes that toppled in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, as well as Syria, whose leadership has so far withstood intense pressure from opponents. Some of the probes continue.