NATION

Some market vendors linked to drug, cash investigations: Buksh

Some market vendors are depositing cash earned through the covert sale of marijuana from their stalls with their legitimate earnings to hide the large funds, says Razim Buksh. The Director
09 Oct 2017 11:00
Some market vendors linked to drug, cash investigations: Buksh
Financial Intelligence Unit director Razim Buksh . Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Some market vendors are depositing cash earned through the covert sale of marijuana from their stalls with their legitimate earnings to hide the large funds, says Razim Buksh.

The Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit  (FIU) Mr Buksh said last night he had made the disclosure at a recent Parliamentary Standing Committee.

He said the amount deposited significantly exceeded the weekly earnings of the vendors.

“What we told the Parliamentary Standing Committee was that these were some of the typologies the intelligence unit was picking from the analysis of our report and that was one example that we gave where we had seen the intermingling of legitimate funds with illicit earnings,” Mr Buksh said.

“We have seen maybe, I can say a few such typologies that were analysed by the FIU,” he said.

“So one example that we always give is, as a result of actual real cases that we see, in some of the suspicious transaction reports filed by reporting institutions is that the market vendors would deposit illicit earning from marijuana sales into the regular earnings of selling the market produce.”

Mr Buksh said he could not reveal the identities or the locations of the market vendors but confirmed that the FIU had identified more than one vendor.

He added: “Because it’s typologies we would not put up those specifics.”

Under the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, all financial institutions – Government or commercial – are required by law to report any suspicious activity.

Suspicious transactions in this case would mean deposit in the range of $5000 to $10,000.

Mr Buksh said: “We require, not just the commercial banks, but all Government financial institutions to be vigilant when undertaking transactions for and on behalf of their customers.

“And if they detect such unusual transactions, it’s mandatory for them to report. If they fail to report then there are penalties under section 14 of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act.”

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

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