The number of reports on suspicious transaction and activities about money laundering and terror financing dropped by 7.86 per cent in the fiscal year 2018-2019 compared with that of such reports in the previous year.
On Sunday, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit released its annual report of FY19, containing the suspicious transaction reports (STRs) and suspicious activity reports (SARs).
The annual report showed that the total number of STR and SAR dropped by 305 to 3,573 in FY19 against 3,878 alerts in FY18. In FY17, the number was 2,357.
Although the BFIU did not disclose the details about the transactions and people behind such transactions, it outlined some case studies of illegal activities including money laundering without naming the individuals responsible.
Basically, the suspicious transaction reports were filed by reporting entities, namely banks and other financial intermediaries, with the BFIU of the government especially about the cash transaction worth Tk 10 lakh or above in a single day.
Of the total reports submitted to the BFIU in FY 2018-19, the number of STRs and SARs were 2,084 and 1,489 respectively while the figures were 2,069 and 1,809 respectively in the FY 2017-18.
Asked about the reason for the fall in number of reports on suspicious financial transaction and activities in FY19, BFIU head Abu Hena Mohammad Razi Hasan told New Age that they were organising training sessions for the bankers, which indirectly raising awareness among the customers regarding the anti-money laundering and terror financing.
‘It might be a reason for the decline in STRs and SARs,’ he said.
The BFIU received the highest number of STRs in October, 2018 and the highest number of SARs in August, 2018.
The amount of money involving suspicious transactions, however, increased in FY19.
The amount was Tk 1,021.84 crore in FY19 against Tk 921.75 crore in FY18.
If any anomaly is found, the BFIU forwards the reports to the Anti-Corruption Commission, Bangladesh Police and other government agencies for further investigation.
The BFIU sent the maximum 609 STRs and SARs for digital hundi and informal remittance to the government investigation agencies.
The global communities always accept the rise in STRs and SARs positively as they think that this is an indication of the financial organisations’ compliance with corporate governance, said Hasan, also a former deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank.
For instance, the US financial organisations make roughly 55,000 STRs and SARs per day, he said.
The BFIU disseminated 10 terror and terror financing related cases in the year 2018-19.
As part of the analysis, the BFIU scrutinised 42 accounts out of which 27 accounts were frozen for varying periods.
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