A notable increase in suspicious transactions and money laundering in South Africa according to FIC report. South Africa has conducted its first money-laundering and terrorism finance risk assessment. Figures are contained in the Financial Intelligence Centre’s (FIC) latest annual report, which was published in November.
According to the report, there is a substantial increase in reported suspicious and unusual transactions (STRs). These are financial transactions which raise suspicion of money laundering as well as terrorism financing.
The report shows that figures have increased from 288 000 in 2018, to around 300 000 in 2019. A fraud, corruption and money-laundering expert and the head of forensics at ENSafrica, Steven Powell, said that this represents a substantial increase, with numerous companies now reporting such incidents after taking the FIC reporting seriously. Powell also suggested that the substantial increase is as result of the exposure of fraud and corruption at the Zondo commission into state capture.
There are certain bodies that are bound by Section 29 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act such as banks, car dealerships, estate agents, attorneys, casinos, investment companies, and Kruger rand dealers with an obligation to report any suspicious and unusual transactions.
These bodies are also obliged to report any clients who perform a number of transactions which amount to R25 000 and more within a given time period. Transactions such as these are known as cash threshold reports (CTRs). In addition, cash deposits amounting to R25 000 and more, are also known to trigger warnings. South Africa, according to the dossier, has conducted its first money laundering and terrorism financing National Risk Assessment (NRA). The NRA is aimed at identifying money laundering as well as terrorism financing risks posed to the country and to crafting appropriate and adequate responses to it.