FIU received 950 suspicious transaction reports totaling over $5B in 2023

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FIU received 950 suspicious transaction reports totaling over $5B in 2023

A total of 950 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) or suspicious activity reports (SARs) were received by the Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (FIUTT), during September 2022 and September 2023.

The revelation was made in Parliament on Friday by Minister of Finance Colm Imbert, who noted while tabling the FIUTT Report, that the total monetary value of the 950 suspicious reports was $5,954,472,732.

Imbert said the banking sector continued to record the highest number of STRs or SARs accounting for 60% of the reports received. This was followed by a money or value transfer services sector and cooperative societies, which accounted for 23% and 8% of the total STR/SAR reports received respectively.

Imbert said during the reporting period, the FIUTT noted a 21% decrease in STR or SAR submissions from the banking sector and a notable increase from finance companies, from three to 29, or an 867% increase when compared to the previous period. Submissions from the money or value transfer services sector and cooperative sectors increased by 113% and 55% respectively. “Overall, a 93% increase was noted in the Suspicious Transaction Reports or Suspicious Activity Reports submissions by non-regulated financial institutions” he said.

However, a 19% decrease was noted in submissions by financial institutions and a 17% decrease in submissions from listed businesses. He said FIUTT noted a 250% increase in STRs/SARs from private members clubs and a 25% increase in STRs/SARs from motor vehicle sales.

Of the total monetary value ($5,954,472,732) of the 950 suspicious transaction reports or suspicious activity reports, 784 of the transactions or $1,392,564,730 were completed transactions and represented at 12% decrease when compared to the previous period, whilst 226 were attempted transactions of which the monetary value amounted to $4,561,908,002.00 and represented a significant increase over the previous period. Notably, seven STRs or SARs contained both completed and attempted transactions, Imbert stated.

Imbert said the FIUTT completed analysis on 523 STRs or SARs generating a total of 60 intelligence reports, of which 51 were suspected money laundering cases and nine were suspected financing of terrorism cases. He said of the 60 reports generated and subsequently disseminated, 35 were spontaneous disclosures. Of the 35 spontaneous disclosures, 26 were submitted to local competent authorities while nine were shared with foreign law enforcement authorities and foreign financial intelligence units.

Imbert said in the area of strategic engagements, corporation and collaboration, over the past year, the FIUTT sustained its engagements and the strategic partnership with other financial intelligence units, law enforcement authorities, intelligence agencies, and AML/CFT/CPT supervisory authorities, reporting entities, government agencies, and other stakeholders on matters of mutual interest.

The FIUTT also received 13 requests from foreign authorities, which featured 38 subjects. The suspected criminal conduct and the majority of cases were money laundering related. In conducting its analysis, the FIUTT made 18 requests to foreign authorities for financial intelligence and information.

The requests comprised 32 subjects and involved suspected fraud, money laundering and other predicate cases. Requests from foreign authorities originated mainly from the Americas, followed by the Caribbean and Europe.