FIU records over 300 suspicious transactions valued at $8.5B for 2018

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The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in its 2018 Annual Report recorded a total 331 suspicious monetary transactions valued at $8.5 billion.

The annual report was presented by Director of the FIU, Matthew Langevine to the Minister of Finance Winston Jordan on Monday.

“These are transactions that were flagged by the financial and non-financial sector and shared with us, to see if there is need for any investigations,” Mr Langevine said.

He explained that the transactions were identified by the financial and non-financial sectors and were shared with the FIU to conduct further investigation.

“We have also seen suspicious transactions relating to tax evasion, drug trafficking, corruption in public office, suspected terrorist financing, insider trading and so we have looked at these and we have analyzed them and we have shared information where seemed relevant,” Mr Langevine said.

According to him, a majority of the transactions were from the Financial Money Transfer Agency Sector.

“I would have spent a lot of time within the last few months talking about the risk and the issues we’ve been seeing in this sector and as it continues we have done a lot of work in sharing with the Special Organized Crime Unit and the other stakeholders at Central Bank with some of the suspicious activities we have been seeing in this sector,” Mr. Langevine said.

According to Mr Langevine, the FIU completed nine publications relating to its work in Guyana addressing the risks and vulnerability issues as it relates to money laundering and terrorist financing.

However, Mr Langevine said the key achievement for the year would be the sharing of information among stakeholder agencies.

“The intelligence report that we have shared with SOCU, with SARA and the Guyana Revenue Authority, I think is one of the key measurements and achievement for us, because that is our primary mandate.”

The primary mandate of the FIU is to receive, analyze and disseminate information relating to suspected money laundering.

Mr Langevine said the report also contained the FIU’s 2018 financial statements from the Auditor General’s office.

The FIU also successfully signed two new Memoranda in 2018; this would be a total of 10 MOUs with other Financial Intelligence Units in the Caribbean region.

“In the report, you will also see that in 2018 we made progress with the signing of MOUs with two additional international FIUs specifically Barbados and Jamaica. And it is interesting that we were able to use these MOUs is a couple of money laundering investigations,” Mr Langevine said.

According to him, the importance of these MOUs is being seen and the benefits are being realized.

“These MOUs are even more important as we continue to strive towards having Guyana accepted as a member of the Egmont Group of International FIUs,” Mr Langevine said.

The Egmont Group is a united body of FIUs and provides a platform for the secure exchange of expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

According to Mr Langevine, Guyana’s application is being considered for the Egmont Group through sponsors, Trinidad and Tobago and the British Virgin Islands.

Meanwhile, a total of 40 intelligence reports and 10 updated intelligence reports were prepared by the FIU last year.

The Finance Minister said the FIU Annual report will be sent to Cabinet and hopefully be presented before the National Assembly and then made available to the public.

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