Reporting to the FIU and other obligations

If the Reporting Officer of the entity decides that a disclosure should be made, a report is made in the prescribed form. Each institution receives SAR forms which they fill out and return by hand.

When made in good faith, the financial institutions or persons engaged in relevant business activities and their employees, staff, directors, owners or other representatives as authorized by law, are exempt from criminal, civil or administrative liability.

HOWEVER failure to report a suspicious transaction is an offence.

The POCA states that every financial institution or person engaged in relevant business activity must pay special attention to all complex, unusual or large transactions, whether completed or not, and to all unusual patterns of transactions, and to insignificant but periodic patterns of transactions, which have no apparent economic or lawful purpose.

With regard to continued verification of accounts, once you have verified the identity of the applicant no further verification of identity is needed once the applicant maintains a business relationship on a regular basis. You must monitor the business relationship to ensure that it is consistent with the stated account purposes and business. Where there has been no recent contact with the person within a period of 5 years, you should confirm the identity of the account holder.

The entity must keep evidence of the person’s identity for a minimum of 7 years after the day on which the account was closed or after the day on which the transaction recorded takes place, and records or copies thereof of the details relating to the business that may assist in a ML investigation. However, if the FIU has notified a regulated institution in writing that particular records are or may be relevant to an investigation that is being carried out, the records are to be retained pending the outcome of the investigation.