ABOUT 566 suspicious transactions reports were recorded by the Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) for the year ending July 2018.
According to the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) August 2017 – July 2018 annual report, the FIU received these suspicious transaction reports from various financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs).
This was higher than the 745 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) recorded from the previous August 2016 – July 2017 period.
The report stated that majority of STRs received was from commercial banks and the most common grounds of unusual and suspicious transactions were on tax evasion, fraud and cybercrime activities.
Out of the 566 STRs recorded in the year, the FIU referred 528 STR case reports to relevant law enforcement agencies for further investigation of possible money laundering and other serious offences.
Financial institutions and DNFBPs are required under the FTR Act to report to the FIU any transaction (or attempted transaction) suspected to relate to money laundering, terrorist financing or other serious offences.
Financial institutions are also required under the FTR Act to report to the FIU all cash transactions of $10,000 and above, and all international electronic fund transfers.
The FIU received 640,478 cash transaction reports (CTRs) and 1,295,105 international electronic fund transfers reports (EFTRs) during the 2017-2018 financial year.
In terms of border currency reporting, the FIU received 806 border currency reports over the period for possible currency smuggling, money laundering and related criminal offences.
This was also higher than the 709 border currency reports received in the corresponding period.
People travelling in or out of Fiji are required under the FTR Act to declare if they are carrying currency or negotiable bearer instruments of $10,000 and above.
Under the FTR Act, the FIU may provide assistance to various partner agencies.
The FIU handled 106 requests from Government agencies for due diligence and background checks on persons or entities of interest in the FY 2017-2018.
Background checks were carried out on 91 business entities and 231 individuals.
The FIU also handled 175 requests from local and foreign law enforcement agencies for assistance in money laundering and other related investigations.