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SA's Financial Intelligence Centre Received Thousands Of Tip-Offs

by Robert Lee, for LawAndTax-News.com, London

07 January 2005


According to reports in the national media this week, the South African Financial Intelligence Centre, established to combat money laundering, received some 7,480 suspicious transaction reports in the 2003-04 financial year. Of these, however, just ten have so far been referred to the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

Speaking to the South African Sunday Times, the Centre's legal manager, Pieter Smit explained that the majority of the reports came from the country's banks, although insurance firms, lawyers, estate agents, stockbrokers and automobile dealers also lodged suspicious transaction reports.

Mr Smit went on to predict an increase in the number of reports lodged this fiscal year of between 20% and 30%.

According to the FIC legal manager, the South African authorities are in the process of establishing a set of 'indicators' for businesses, to help them judge whether or not a transaction is suspicious. These are likely to include transactions with no business purpose, transactions for which the client can provide no proper explanation, and transactions where the client is keen to remain anonymous.


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