Financial Intelligence Units: An Overview

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The FIU serves as the central agency for the receipt of disclosures filed by reporting entities.

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  7. Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs)?

While all the information should be considered, the analysis may focus either on each single disclosure received or on appropriate selected information, depending on the type and volume of the disclosures received, and on the expected use after dissemination. FIUs should be encouraged to use analytical software to process information more efficiently and assist in establishing relevant links.

However, such tools cannot fully replace the human judgement element of analysis. FIUs should conduct the following types of analysis:. This information is then also used by the FIU or other state entities in order to determine money laundering and terrorist financing related threats and vulnerabilities. The FIU should be able to disseminate, spontaneously and upon request, information and the results of its analysis to relevant competent authorities. Dedicated, secure and protected channels should be used for the dissemination.

In addition to the information that entities report to the FIU under the receipt function , the FIU should be able to obtain and use additional information from reporting entities as needed to perform its analysis properly. The information that the FIU should be permitted to obtain could include information that reporting entities are required to maintain pursuant to the relevant FATF Recommendations Recommendations 10, 11 and In order to conduct proper analysis, the FIU should have access to the widest possible range of financial, administrative and law enforcement information.

Information received, processed, held or disseminated by the FIU must be securely protected, exchanged and used only in accordance with agreed procedures, policies and applicable laws and regulations. An FIU must, therefore, have rules in place governing the security and confidentiality of such information, including procedures for handling, storage, dissemination, and protection of, as well as access to such information.

One of the main purposes of financial intelligence is to identify financial transactions that may involve tax evasion , money laundering or some other criminal activity. Financial intelligence can be broken down into two main areas, collection and analysis. Collection is normally done by a government agency, known as a financial intelligence organisation or Financial Intelligence Unit FIU. The agency will collect raw transactional information and Suspicious activity reports SAR usually provided by banks and other entities as part of regulatory requirements.

Data may be shared with other countries through intergovernmental networks.

Functions of Financial Intelligence Unit

Analysis, may consist of scrutinizing a large volume of transactional data using data mining or data-matching techniques to identify persons potentially engaged in a particular activity. SARs can also be scrutinized and linked with other data to try to identify specific activity. FININT involves scrutinizing a large volume of transactional data, usually provided by banks and other entities as part of regulatory requirements.

Alternatively, data mining or data-matching techniques may be employed to identify persons potentially engaged in a particular activity. Many industrialized countries have regulatory reporting requirements for its financial organisations.

Financial Intelligence Centre - The video

From a legal standpoint, this type of collection can be quite complex. Reporting requirements may not affect Informal value transfer systems IVTS [1] the use of which may simply be customary in a culture, and of amounts that would not require reporting if in a conventional financial institution. IVTS also can be used for criminal purposes of avoiding oversight. According to the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units , financial intelligence organizations FIUs are national centres which collect information on suspicious or unusual financial activity from the financial industry and other entities or professions required to report transactions suspicious of being money laundering or terrorism financing.

Financial Intelligence Units –

FIUs are normally not law enforcement agencies; their mission being to process and analyze the information received. If sufficient evidence of unlawful activity is found, the matter is passed to the public prosecution. Government organizations may simply receive and process raw financial reports, and forward them, as appropriate, to law enforcement or intelligence agencies, include the multinational Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, and national organizations, including:. The United States has different organizations focused on domestic and international financial activity.

Some reports also need to go to the Securities and Exchange Commission. International financial activity comes primarily from the Department of the Treasury and the Central Intelligence Agency. Information developed by these units, when related to domestic security and especially when state and local law enforcement, is disseminated by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis OIA in the United States Department of Homeland Security , under the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis. It disseminates intelligence throughout the Department, to the other members of the United States Intelligence Community , and to affected first responders at the state and local level.

Depending on the specific Federal violation, law enforcement investigation may be under agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation , United States Secret Service , or the Internal Revenue Service. Following the September 11, attacks an allegation was made in The Wall Street Journal that tanzanite stones were being used as an untraceable currency and source of income for terrorists.

This has not since been firmly established. See possible examples. The custom common in Africa, uncut diamonds tend to be the de facto standard currency of the illicit small arms trade. Diamonds may be easily counted with a uniform valuation per carat to people in places of the world where there are no automated teller machines.

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An entire briefcase filled with uncut diamonds without the serial numbers found on refined precious metals can be used to make large illicit value transfers. The practice coexists with human trafficking, narcotics, weapons dealing, terrorism, and the evasion of economic sanctions and embargoes. However, the Internal Revenue Service has since instituted new anti-money laundering regulations to control the gem trade. Another intriguing possibility is that a terrorist might buy stocks which are likely to appreciate in the event of a terrorist attack, such as defense industry stocks, or sell short stocks which are likely to depreciate, such as airlines.

This possibility led to many investigations of the financial markets subsequent to the September 11, attacks. NET is a decentralized computer network that provides an information exchange between the financial intelligence units of the European Union. NET is a decentralized system with no central database where the information is collected.