Fiji Strengthening Fight Against Money Laundering
May 16, 2011 Taxation in Fiji
Fiji is making progressive strides in combating the occurrence of money laundering and financial crimes in the country, having conducted 267 investigations into alleged offences over the course of 2010.
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Fiji has released its 2010 Annual Report, which provides information on the results of the country’s efforts into the administration and enforcement of the national Financial Transactions Reporting Act (FTR).
According to the publication, in 2010 the FIU received 629 submissions regarding suspicious financial transactions carried out in Fiji, with 267 of these being forwarded on to law enforcement agencies for further investigation into possible money laundering. FIU investigations during the year have also led to the closure of an unlicensed bank, the revocation of the license of a foreign exchange dealer, and the issuance of several notices to the financial sector warning it against specific offences being carried out in violation of the FTR.
The FIU has been in operation for five years, during which it has handled 2 341 reports of suspicious transactions, 303 585 cash transaction reports, 714 873 international funds transfer reports, and 665 border currency declarations. The Unit now holds a database with information on over 1 million financial transactions. Of all the monitored transactions collected during its operations, 839 reports were disseminated to law enforcement agencies. The Unit has also assisted in 293 financial crimes investigations that were carried out by Fijian authorities.
Razim Buksh, director of the FIU, commented on the published results, saying that the Unit has made commendable progress in implementing the Financial Transactions Reporting Act since its introduction into the legal system in 2007. He added that in 2010 the FIU made great strides in facilitating greater adherence to internationally accepted anti-money laundering initiatives in Fiji. The FIU has also proven to be vital for providing regulatory and practical guidance for the appropriate implementation of Know Your Customer requirements and Customer Due Diligence standards.
Photo by Lachlan