Canada to fingerprint tax evasion suspects
23 February 2017 16:39 GMT

The Canadian Revenue Agency has begun fingerprinting tax evasion suspects, creating a database that privacy advocates say could potentially impact on the travel freedoms of those suspects.

The fingerprints of all accused tax evaders will be recorded in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database, accessible by almost 70,000 Canadian police officers but also by some foreign agencies such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its border officers.

"Introducing a mandatory fingerprinting policy would serve as a powerful deterrent to those considering committing a serious tax offence or those who may contemplate reoffending," says an internal memorandum justifying the new measure, reported CBC.

"The mobility restriction is an important deterrent, especially for people engaged in offshore tax evasion."

CBC News had obtained a copy of the memo, and the July 7 order authorizing the new policy, under the Access to Information Act, with several sections blacked out under security and advice exemptions

While if an accused is acquitted of tax evasion, the agency will "request" the fingerprints be removed from the CPIC database, the newspaper noted that some law firms specialising in fingerprint "destruction" had warned the images could remain for months, depending on the protocols of the police service that registered the prints.