July 25, 2013

Cash tops STRs

Geraldine Panapasa
Thursday, July 25, 2013

CASH continues to be the primary financial instrument type that is reflected in the Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) given by the Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit in 2012.

And according to FIU's 2012 annual report, of the 579 transactions reported as suspicious in 2012, 392 or 68 per cent involved cash transactions.

"Other types of financial instruments involved in STRs include cash (local and foreign currency), cheque (bank cheques, drafts, personal and company cheques), remittances and other instruments (account-to-account transfers, credit cards and travellers cheques)," the report said.

"The number of STRs that involved remittance transactions increased by 45 per cent from 75 in 2011 to 109 in 2012 due primarily to an increase in the number of reported cybercrime, internet banking fraud and advanced fee fraud cases."

It said 96 per cent of the STRs in 2012 involved Fiji currency while the number of suspicious transactions that involved foreign currency decreased to 25 STRs for the same year.

In terms of customer type, the report said there were 496 (85 per cent) STRs reported on transactions conducted by individuals or personal customers and 83 (15 per cent) by corporate or business entities.

"The number of STRs on legal entities such as companies in 2012 decreased to 83 STRs — this was compared to 101 STRs in 2011," it said.

"It was also noted that some of the transactions reported on individuals were indirectly linked to legal entities such as companies and sole proprietorships."

FIU said earlier the total annual value of suspicious transactions that was reported last year decreased significantly to $20million from $59.5m in 2011.

It said the average value of a transaction reported to the FIU for 2012 as suspicious was $35,000 compared to $82,000 in 2011.

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