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Millions in suspicious transactions

Tevita Vuibau
Monday, July 14, 2014

THE total value of suspicious transactions reports (STRs) to the Financial Intelligence Unit increased from $20million in 2012 to just under $30m in 2013.

These were figures reported in the 2013 Annual Report for the RBF Financial Intelligence Unit.

But while the term STR seems relatively harmless, they may in some cases be related to the financing of terrorism and money laundering.

Under Section 14 of the Financial Transactions Reporting (FTR) Act and Section 24 of the FTR Regulations, financial institutions are required to report to the FIU any "suspicious transactions", including "attempted suspicious transactions" that may be related to a serious offence, a money laundering offence or an offence of the financing of terrorism.

These transactions are reported as suspicious transaction reports.

The report also notes there were less STRs reported in 2013 but the average value of each STR increased by about $20,000.

On average, the value of each STR rose from $35,000 in 2012 to $56,000 in 2013 while the number of STRs dropped from 579 in 2012 to 522 in 2013.

Meanwhile the Central/Eastern Division recorded the largest number of STRs — 314 compared with 165 in the Western Division and 43 in the Northern Division.

"This is due largely to the fact that economic and commercial activities are largely concentrated in the division," the report said.

The report also explains that an STR can be made against any transaction no matter the amount of money involved.

"There is no monetary threshold under the FTR Act for reporting suspicious transactions."

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