WHAT ABOUT FICA?
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.