Guernsey Press

Fewest number of suspicious activity reports in five years

The Bailiwick of Guernsey Financial Intelligence Unit received its fewest number of suspicious activity reports in five years last year, according to its annual report.

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In total the FIU received 2,031 SARs – a 24% decrease on the 2,656 received in 2022, and the lowest number since 2019.

A quarter of the suspected criminal activity within last year’s reports were identified as illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and other psychoactive substances, while 24% were identified as money laundering and 23% as fraud.

The report stated that the overall decrease in SARs was predominantly due to continued outreach to the e-gambling sector, a large part of which is regulated in Alderney.

The sector saw a 36% decline in SAR submissions between 2022 and 2023.

However, it was still responsible for nearly two-thirds of the total number of SARs submitted locally last year.

The next-largest sectors responsible for submitting SARs were banks at 14%, and trust company service providers at 13%.

SARs from the banking sector increased by 46% from last year which, the report said, was understood to be in part as a result of increased sanctions in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Half the subjects reported within SARs were resident in the UK, followed by 15% in Guernsey, 4% in Canada and 3% in South Africa.

‘There are many challenges when targeting economic and financial crime and acts of terrorism and proliferation, however by working in collaboration with other authorities, and public-private partners we can strengthen the fight against money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing,’ said FIU head Adrian Hale.