The Nova Scotia gunman was flagged for purchases made before the shooting that killed 22 people in April, according to newly unsealed court documents.
The gunman who killed 22 people in Nova Scotia in April was flagged for multiple suspicious transactions to Canada’s money laundering watchdog for purchasing items “intended for police use” and a $475,000 cash withdrawal before the 13-hour shooting spree, according to newly unsealed court documents.
The documents also include new details from the gunman’s cousin, a retired RCMP officer, who described the shooter as “almost a career criminal” in an interview with police after the shootings.
The details were included in search warrant applications filed by the RCMP that were released Monday by provincial court Judge Laurel Halfpenny MacQuarrie.
According to the documents, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) was made aware of suspicious transactions related to Gabriel Wortman’s PayPal account towards “the purchase of vehicle accessories commonly used by police, including items explicitly labeled as being intended for police use via eBay.”
,PayPal flagged suspicious transactions between March 22 and Dec. 5, 2019, the documents said, although it’s unclear if that’s when they were reported to FINTRAC or when the purchases occurred.
The list of vehicle accessories purchased by the gunman included:
A centre console for a 2013 Ford Taurus.
A Setina PI interceptor Taurus sedan police push bumper ram bar.
An in-car recordable vehicle dashcam and wireless mic bundle.
A “subdued Canadian flag thin blue line sticker vinyl decal.”
A gun rack.
The newly released documents indicate the suspicious transaction reports (STRs) were prepared by FINTRAC on April 22 and April 30 after the shootings occurred. It’s unclear when FINTRAC was first made aware of these transactions.
Under Canadian law, financial institutions and other organizations are required to create STRs for transactions like large cash deposits, unsourced deposits or multiple deposits totalling more than $10,000.
“The FINTRAC report also outlined STRs with respect to credit cards associated with (the gunman) for purchases to GCSurplus Ottawa of more than $15,000,” the documents said. “It is known that some of these purchases were for white Ford Taurus vehicles which were decommissioned police cars.”
According to the documents, investigators said CIBC reported that in March the gunman had requested to “liquidate some of his investments, amounting to $475,000.”
“(The gunman) requested that the $475,000 be in $100 denominations,” the documents said, adding that the money was delivered to the gunman via a Brinks deposit on March 30.
A spokesperson for CIBC said their thoughts are with the victims of the tragedy but declined to answer questions about the suspicious transaction reports, adding that the bank cannot release information about individual clients.
FINTRAC, meanwhile, said it is “prohibited from disclosing information that it may have received or financial intelligence that it may have disclosed to police, law enforcement or national security agencies” relevant to a criminal investigation.