Usefulness of SARs 'Dimmed By Poor Cross-Border Cooperation'

Financial intelligence units (FIUs) have expressed despair that cross-border investigations involving information reported by financial institutions are stalling due to uncooperative jurisdictions and a creaky mutual assistance framework.

Hennie Verbeek-Kusters, the outgoing chair of the Egmont Group, a club of 164 FIUs, said on Monday that the global mutual legal assistance system “is now actually creating safe havens for criminal money”.

To meet global standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, governments are required to have an independent financial intelligence unit that receives, sifts through and shares suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by banks, payment institutions and other regulated entities.

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