The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) received 1,638 Suspicious Transaction Reports/Suspicious Activity reports valued at $3.1 billion over 2020 and 2021.

Some $2 billion of that involved transactions that were completed.

Information on the situation was given in the FIU’s report for October 2020-September 2021.

This was laid in Parliament yesterday by Finance Minister Colm Imbert who spoke about the report’s contents.

For the last year ending September 2021, some 506 entities registered with the FIU bringing to 3,766 its total number of registrants.

Over the 2020-2021 period, 1,041 compliance examinations were done on 972 supervised entities.

There was an 11 per cent decrease in STR/SARs over the previous year which the report stated could be attributed to the restrictions on listed businesses during the pandemic.

Submissions from insurance companies, mortgage companies, jewellers and private members’ clubs all decreased over the period.

The banking sector submitted 82 per cent of the reports for 2020-21.

But 1,449 of the 1,638 STR/SARs received by the FIU valued at $2.B were completed transactions and only 189 (valued at $1B) were attempted transactions.

This represented a 136 per cent increase in completed transactions and a 96 per cent decrease in attempted transactions when compared with the previous reporting period.

Suspected tax evasion ranked the highest among the five most common reasons for submission of STRS/SARs to the FIU, representing 534 people.

This was followed by money laundering (477 people), suspicious financial activity (290), fraud (231) and breach of exchange control (40).

Of the 1,638 STR/SARs received, 16 per cent (262 reports) were primarily associated with the demonetisation of the cotton-based hundred-dollar notes. Of these, 24 reports were submitted by the Central Bank under the Proceeds of Crime Act.