Smurfing: In 2019, people were splitting large deposits to hide money laundering – FIU

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The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has said that smurfing is among the more dominant suspicious transactions uncovered locally in 2019.

Smurfing, which is also known as structuring, is the activity of breaking a large amount of money into smaller deposits and conducting multiple transactions to deposit the entire funds.

According to the 2019 FIU report which was tabled in the National Assembly Monday, there were 258 of these transactions in 2019, accounting for more than 60% of all suspicious transactions investigated at the time.

It was suspected that the monies were the proceeds of criminal activity, money laundering and terrorist financing, according to the report.

In total, there were 467 suspicious transactions reported in 2019 compared with 331 in 2018.

The FIU said 2019 saw $161M in suspected money laundering activities and $37 million in fraud while tax evasion saw $31.8 million.

The majority of reports to the FIU came from money transfer services and commercial banks.

Other entities filing reports were gold dealers and security companies but the majority came from money transfer services.

 

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