Crime & Court

Money Laundering Trends

In its 2018 annual report, FIU said it continuously advised commercial banks, financial institutions, businesses and members of the public to exercise caution when handling email payment instructions for import trade transactions and large value personal outbound foreign remittance transactions.
19 Sep 2019 16:19
Money Laundering Trends

A continuous increase in cases of individuals and businesses falling victim to email compromise and spoofing scams were noted by the Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit in 2018.

In its 2018 annual report, FIU said it continuously advised commercial banks, financial institutions, businesses and members of the public to exercise caution when handling email payment instructions for import trade transactions and large value personal outbound foreign remittance transactions.

The Fiji FIU stated some case examples that were reported to it in 2018 on email compromise and email spoofing.

In March 2018, an email account of a local bank customer was compromised and a fraudulent payment instruction was sent to the local bank.

According to the FIU, approximately FJ$575,000 was transferred to a foreign bank account belonging to a cybercriminal syndicate.

In a case involving cyber money laundering in September last year, FJ$556,000 was fraudulently transferred from a local business bank account to an offshore “incorrect” bank account number.

The FIU said in this case, the foreign supplier’s business email was compromised.

Local investor

In October 2018, proceeds of approximately FJ$27,000 from the sale of investment shares of a local investor who is residing abroad was remitted to a cybercriminal’s bank account in another country as a result of email compromise of the investor.

According to the FIU, an estate property settlement proceeds in October 2018 totalling approximately FJ$845,000 was remitted to the foreign bank account of a cybercriminal who pretended to be the beneficiary of the estate.

“It appears that email accounts of the beneficiary and local party were compromised,” the FIU said.

“Any suspicious overseas trade transaction or large personal remittance that could be linked to email compromise and spoofing scams should immediately be reported as a suspicious transaction report to the Fiji FIU.”

The FIU said commercial banks and remittance service providers were reminded to conduct enhanced due diligence for suspicious payment instructions.

Declining Trends

The FIU noted a decline in the use of fraudulent documentation to conduct financial transactions and the number of impersonation cases reported to it.

Feedbackavinesh.gopal@fijisun.com.fj



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