It has been discovered that the number of suspicious transaction reports submitted to Irish investigators has doubled in the last three years.
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in Ireland reported receiving 47,421 STRs in 2022. The number (24,521) filed in 2019 was more than doubled. There were 38,712 in 2021.
The crypto sector (VASPs) saw the largest growth in STRs, going from 300 to 6,625 from the previous year.
Unexpectedly, there were no suspicious reports from Ireland's thriving real estate market. Estate agents did not submit any STRs to the FIU in 2022, compared to just five in 2021.
The number of notifications from gaming companies increased significantly last year, going from 299 to 1,039 in total.
It is interesting to note that from 23,323 in 2021 to 18,785, the number of STRs from retail banks really decreased dramatically.
The number of life insurance businesses also decreased dramatically, from 608 in 2018 to just 52 in 2022.
The report also emphasizes Ireland's function as a key financial center in Europe. An entity located in Ireland that passports its services to other EU nations where there is no nexus to Ireland submits a particular report to the FIU under the "TReu" category.
This demonstrates how the number of STRs submitted by EU "emoney institutions" increased from 1,944 to 4,881 last year throughout the course of the year.
Incredibly, the STR for VASPs with European origin increased from 716 in 2021 to 5,138 in 2022.
After the Council Directive of June 10, 1991 was implemented, Ireland's FIU was created in May 1995.
The unit is a police-based FIU housed within the National Economic Crime Bureau of the Garda (National Police) (GNECB). With the passage of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2018, it was given legislative status.
Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan is in charge of the FIU, which is manned by members of the Garda Sochána (AGS). But in carrying out its duties, it enjoys autonomy and operational independence, which strengthens the FIU's compliance with FATF Recommendation 29.
For the purpose of preventing, identifying, and looking into potential money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF), FIU Ireland analyzes all STRs and other information related to ML/TF.
Operational analysis of specific cases, targets, and other carefully chosen material, as well as strategic study of more general ML/TF trends and patterns, make up its analytical function.
FIU Ireland is required to send information to the appropriate investigative authority, typically An Garda Sochána but also the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection, if a suspicion appears to be supported, i.e., it appears that a STR contains a criminal indicator.
By fLEXI tEAM