BUSINESSES, company directors and financial institutions are all bound by a number of decrees and laws surrounding financial transactions in the country.
Failure to report suspicious activity could result in company personnel, senior management and directors coming under scrutiny from watchdog, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
Speaking at the 'Proceeds of Crime: Follow the Money Workshop' in Nadi yesterday, Police Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua said Fiji's legislation also allowed for property and illegally derived financial gains to be temporarily restrained while investigations were being conducted.
"In Fiji we have a comprehensive legal framework for money laundering — laws such as the Proceeds of Crime Act, the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act and the Crimes Decree all make money laundering unlawful.
"These laws also allow the Fiji Police Force and other law enforcement agencies to legally investigate and prosecute money laundering offenders and seize and forfeit properties including houses and motor vehicles alike," he said.
Speaking to over 30 police crime personnel and members of the Director of Public Prosecutions office, director of the FIU Razim Buksh called on all businesses and financial agents in the company to be aware that all funds coming into and going out of Fiji were being monitored.
"It is an obligation under the Financial Transactions Reporting Act that all remittances, immaterial of where it's coming from or where the funds are going to or what the dollar value is — this has to be reported by financial institutions to the FIU," he said.
"We have a monitoring system where we check on all transactions and if there is a suspicion on any of the transactions then the FIU will investigate the case and pass it onto the relevant law enforcement agency.
"If it is in relation to immigration then we pass it onto the Immigration Department.
"If it is in relation to exchange control, for example, where we suspect breaches have been committed by the person who has raised capital and now wants to take it abroad, we would refer the intelligence to the Reserve Bank of Fiji or in most cases, we would refer the case to the Fiji Police Force where we suspect a crime has been committed," he explained.
The workshop is in progress at the Novotel Hotel in Nadi and concludes today.