Suspicious transactions reach a record, finance investigators say


Finance ministry investigators identified suspicious financial transactions totalling a record €9.5bn last year, outstripping 2017’s record by almost €3bn.

In total, nearly 58,000 transactions were flagged up as suspicious, most of which centred on money laundering, the financing of terrorism and fraud, the FIU agency said.

The FIU does not say how many of the suspect transactions were actually found to involve crime, but does state that 8,514 files were handed over to crime investigators and the security services last year.

By Dutch law, banks, currency exchange offices, credit card firms, notaries and accountants should report all unusual transactions to the FIU.

This includes money transfers of more than €2,000, large cash transactions and payments of more than €15,000. The FIU’s job is to process this information to identify problems and pass on the information for further investigation.

In total, banks, traders, casinos and credit card companies made a total of 750,000 reports of potential problems to the FIU.

Amended legislation on the financing of terrorism is partly behind the rise, the agency said. This requires banks to alert the FIU to all transactions made to or from a person or company based in a country considered by the EU to be high risk. These accounted for 350,000 of the total.

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