The Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU), the government agency mandated with collating, analysing and disseminating financial intelligence on terrorist financing and money laundering, has forwarded a 65,829 Suspicious Transactions Reports (STRs) to law enforcement agencies during FY18 — the highest in the agency’s history. This number was over 13 per cent higher than the record 58,223 STRs forwarded for action in FY17.
A majority of these are classified reports on suspicious currency transactions via banking and other financial channels in the country and much of the information was forwarded to various reporting entities as prescribed under Prevention of Money Laundering Rules, an official said.
The FIU has been intensely involved in collection and collation of several reports related to demonetisation during November-December, 2016.
The spurt in the number of STRs finds a reflection in the number of investigations initiated under FEMA (foreign Exchange Management Act), 1999, which have shot up from 1,516 in FY16 to 1,993 in FY17 and 3,369 in FY18. The investigations under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act), 2002 were 111, 200 & 118 respectively during FY16, FY17 and FY18.
After analysis of these STRs and linking the additional information available in the FIU India database, the information is disseminated to the concerned law enforcement agencies for further investigations. FIU-IND disseminates intelligence and it is only after further examination and investigation of the intelligence by the
concerned law enforcement agencies can it be ascertained whether the intelligence pertain to tax evasion,
money laundering and terrorist financing.
Technically, suspicions transaction refer to transactions that give rise to a reasonable ground of suspicion that it may involve proceeds of an offence specified in the Schedule to the Act, regardless of the value involved, which appears to be made in circumstances of unusual or unjustified complexity, appears to have no economic rationale or bonafide purpose or gives rise to a reasonable ground of suspicion that it may involve financing of the activities relating to terrorism.