Agency combats money laundering, terrorism

A new agency is playing an important part in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.

And the first report to cover a complete year of activity of the agency, theFinancial Reporting Authority (FRA) – which came into existence last year – was recently tabled in the Legislative Assembly.

The FRA’s primary objective is said to be to provide timely and high quality financial intelligence to law enforcement agencies in keeping with the requirements of the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Law.

In the report, FRA Acting Director Kipling Douglas said that during the 2004-2005 fiscal year the agency received 244 suspicious activity reports (SARs).

The four largest contributors were banks (31 per cent), trust services (14 per cent), company managers (13 per cent) and overseas Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) (13 per cent) for a total of 71 per cent of the SARs received.

The remaining 29 per cent were from sources including insurance companies, legal services, accountants, money services and others, said the report.

As at the end of 2004-05 the FRA had completed its work on 195 of the 244 SARs.

Out of the 195, work on 107 was completed and no further action was required. A total of 88 were onwardly disclosed overseas to FIUs or law enforcement and 49 were still in progress, said the report.

A total of 58 different countries were listed in the nationalities of subjects reported section of the report.

The most common reason cited by reporting entities when filing suspicious activity reports was the proceeds of fraud (29 per cent), money laundering (18 per cent) and other suspicious activity (12 per cent).

The 50 SARs that were disclosed to overseas FIUs or law enforcement agencies went to 18 different countries.

‘By far the greatest number of disclosures was to the United States at 21 followed by Hong Kong with five and Russia and the United Kingdom with four each,’ said the report.

‘The FRA’s results, and those of its many partners, are proof of the Cayman Islands commitment to the international effort to deter and counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism,’ said Acting Director Kipling Douglas.

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