29 new reporting agencies register with FIU

─ reduction in suspicious transaction reports

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) says 29 new reporting agencies have registered on its database this year to support the fight against money laundering.

FIU Director, Mr. Matthew Langevine said this brings the total number of new agencies registered to 246.

Director, Financial Intelligence Unit, Mr. Matthew Langevine

Most of the entities are banks, cambios, money transfer agencies, gold and diamond dealers, the gambling sector, including lotteries and casinos. Real estate agencies and car dealers are among several entities from the non-financial sectors also onboard.

“What that effectively does is it allow for us to have a large amount of data coming into the FIU, which is more effective in helping us to understand the financial transactions of persons who may be the subject of investigations,” Mr. Langevine told DPI on Monday.  

He said the reporting entities continue to meet their obligations to the FIU, including reporting suspicious transactions, and submission of threshold and terrorist property transaction reports.

The FIU head said the agency was able to collaborate with both local and international law enforcement agencies as there have been many “changes to the types of transactions and threats that exist within the financial sector.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Langevine said the FIU has also seen a decrease in reports of suspicious transactions for 2020. This, he said, may be due to reduced financial activities caused by the Covid pandemic.

He said with several businesses closing during the onset of the pandemic, reports of suspicious transactions also dwindled.

At the end of November, the FIU had received some 309 reports of suspicious financial transactions as against 467 in 2019.

“Importantly, the sources of the suspicious transactions continue to be primarily from money transfer agencies, commercial banks and, to a lesser degree, the gold trading sector. All in all, it has allowed for us to support the law enforcement efforts to investigate suspected criminal and money laundering schemes,” he said.

The FIU was established under the Anti-Money Laundering Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act, to support law enforcement with investigations into money laundering. Its primary work involves receiving, analysing and disseminating information related to suspected financial crimes.