Help the fight against crime
Report suspicious and unusual transactions to the Financial Intelligence Centre
The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) is reminding all businesses of their obligation to note any unusual, suspicious or abnormal transactions which may occur during the course of their business, and to report these to the FIC. The mandate of the FIC is to identify the proceeds of unlawful activities and to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorist and related activities. Reporting suspicious and unusual transactions is regarded as an essential element of fulfilling this mandate.
The FIC is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing standards setting body. South Africa joined FATF in 2003, bringing the country in line with international standards and practices for anti-money laundering and combating terror financing. The Financial Intelligence Centre Act No. 38 of 2001 (FIC Act) seeks to ensure the integrity of South African financial institutions.
Various compliance obligations have been introduced in terms of the FIC Act to enable the protection of institutions against exploitation by criminals and terror financing networks. In the execution of its mandate, the FIC requires all businesses to submit suspicious and unusual transactions reports (STRs) to the FIC. The obligation to report STRs to the FIC in terms of section 29 of the FIC Act applies to all businesses in South Africa. The obligation to report suspicious or unusual transactions applies to any person who: Carries on a business Is in charge of a business Manages a business Is employed by a business STRs must be reported to the FIC using the online reporting mechanism – which can be found on the FIC’s website – www.fic.gov. za by clicking on the Reporting button. The report should be submitted to the FIC within 15 days after the suspicion has been formed.
The FIC Act protects the person who submits the STR to the FIC. In addition to protection against legal liability, the identities of those involved in making a report to the FIC remain confidential.
Section 29( 3) of the FIC Act prohibits a business or employee of a business that has filed a STR with the FIC from disclosing, making available or discussing whether a STR has been filed with the FIC, or sharing that STR or the content thereof, with any person. Failure to report STRs could lead to action being taken against the person/business that fails to submit the STR to the FIC.
The FIC works closely with partners such as the South African Revenue Service, law enforcement agencies as well as other financial intelligence units, and is mandated to provide financial intelligence to help combat crime.
Below are some case studies, taken from the FIC’s 2013/2014 annual report, illustrating how financial intelligence produced by the FIC has been essential in assisting our partners in solving crimes.
By reporting suspicious and unusual transactions to the FIC, you are helping in the fight against crime.