If, during the establishment or course of the customer relationship, or when conducting occasional transactions, a reporting entity suspects that transactions related to money laundering or terrorist financing, then the entity should:
- Normally seek to identify and verify the identity of the customer and the beneficial owner, whether permanent or occasional, and irrespective of any exemption or any designated threshold that might otherwise apply; and
- Make a STR to the FIU in accordance with the Money Laundering & Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2008 Section 17 (1)(a).
If a reporting entity suspects or has reasonable grounds to suspect that funds are the proceeds of a criminal activity, or are related to terrorist financing, it shall as soon as possible but no later than 3 days report promptly its suspicions to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
In order to comply with legal or regulatory requirements reporting entities need to have systems in place which ensure that reports are made when required. Where a legal or regulatory requirement mandates the reporting of suspicious activity once a suspicion has been formed, a report must be made and, therefore, a risk-based approach for the reporting of suspicious activity under these circumstances is not applicable.
A reporting entity should allocate resources based on its risk assessment, focusing on those areas that present a greater vulnerability to money laundering and terrorist financing. Effective resource allocation will better assist the reporting entity in identifying suspicious activity and filing reports. In preparing a STR, reporting entities are encouraged to use the most reliable customer records containing verified customer identification information, when available.