THE financial value of suspicious transactions increased to $59.5million last year against $32million for 2010, the Financial Intelligence Unit said.
There were 728 suspicious transactions last year compared to 629 in 2010, the FIU 2011 annual report said.
But the highest number of such cases reported since the unit was established in 2006 was in 2009 with 750 reports.
The average value of a suspicious transaction reported to the unit last year was $82,000 compared to $51,000 in 2010.
The 16 per cent increase in suspicious transactions last year — marked with an average monthly tally of 61 cases — were triggered mainly by queries and reports from commercial banks, followed by money remittance service providers and finance companies.
The unit noted in its 2011 annual report an increase in members of the public reporting suspicious transactions.
From six in 2010, the unit said it received 24 reports from the public last year — making it the largest number of public reports for the past five years.
And more law firms brought to the unit concerns over suspicion transaction from one in 2010 to five last year, the FIU 2011 annual report said.
Complaints from superannuation and insurance companies, finance companies, regulatory authority and money remittance service providers decreased last year compared to 2010, the report pointed out.
On the other hand, the bank sent 938 queries for further information of which 86 per cent were to commercial banks and 14 per cent to other financial institutions.
The unit queries were related to customer transaction history, customer identification details and customer account details.
Penalties for failing to report a suspicious transaction to the FIU as governed by the Financial Transactions Reporting Act 2004 include a fine of $30,000 or a maximum imprisonment of five years for an individual.
Corporate bodies that are found guilty of the crime face the penalty of $150,000.
Financial institutions must report a suspicious transaction within two working days upon forming a suspicion, the unit said.