WHAT ABOUT FICA?

CityPress - - Business -

With all the rules and reg­u­la­tions that sur­round the open­ing of a bank ac­count, how are crim­i­nals still able to use bank ac­counts to laun­der money?

Kalyani Pil­lay, CEO of the SA Bank­ing Risk In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre, says that “to laun­der money, crim­i­nals use ac­counts that have been opened in full com­pli­ance with the re­quire­ments set out in leg­is­la­tion, and not only ac­counts opened with fraud­u­lent doc­u­men­ta­tion”.

“In our ex­pe­ri­ence, the use of false iden­ti­ties or iden­ti­ties that have been tam­pered with for the open­ing of bank ac­counts is de­clin­ing. As soon as money laun­der­ing ac­tiv­ity is de­tected, banks com­ply with their re­port­ing obligations.”

The Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Cen­tre in­formed City Press that banks determined and ap­plied their own risk and com­pli­ance mea­sures to their var­i­ous prod­ucts and ser­vices, “in­clud­ing any thresh­old they wish to ap­ply in re­spect of cer­tain prod­ucts. This ap­plies equally to the man­age­ment of dor­mant ac­counts.”

It would ap­pear the syn­di­cates are aware of the re­port­ing and sur­veil­lance meth­ods of the banks, so they change bank ac­counts reg­u­larly, with­draw the funds im­me­di­ately and also en­sure the amounts de­posited into the ac­counts fall be­low the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Cen­tre Act (Fica) re­quire­ment lim­its.

Syn­di­cates are known to bribe le­git­i­mate bank­ing clients to use their ac­counts to trans­fer funds.

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