Financial Intelligence Quarterly Reports for June 2019

The FIU continued with its preparation for Tonga’s Mutual Evaluation through engaging technical assistances to develop framework to enhance the Reserve Banks anti-money laundering supervision function as well as assistance from the Cook Islands to contribute to drafting of Tonga’s Effectiveness Response.

1. Number of Reports Received

Type of Reports Filed Apr 19 May 19 Jun 19 Total
Jun 19
QTR
Mar 19
QTR
Jun 18
QTR

Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) 2 0 1 3 6 7
Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs)1 1,206 1,285 1,137 3,628 3,168 3,356
Border Currency Reports (BCRs)2 1 11 11 23 25 25

1 - CTRs reporting is for transaction equal to and above T$10,000. Transactions include deposits and withdrawals in all types i.e. deposit, withdrawal, exchange of currency or other payment or transfer with the exemptions of government agencies and financial institutions transactions. Customers with established relationship with the reporting entity conducting transactions of that amount are also exempted if their background or business activities support the amount of the transaction.
2 - BCR reporting requires declaration at the border by any person entering or leaving the Kingdom with cash amounting to more than T$10,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies.

The currency reports increased from previous quarter while a decrease in number of reports filed for both suspicious and border reports. The FIU continues to retain information obtained in these reports to assist in its data analysis function.

2. Types of STRs

STR by type Apr 19 May 19 Jun 19 Total
Jun 19
QTR
Mar 19
QTR
Dec 17
Jun 18

Unusual significant transactions 0 0 1 1 1 1
Large and rapid movement of funds 0 0   0 1 2
Using personal accounts for business purpose 0 0 0 0 2 1
Possible avoidance of Exchange Control requirements 1 0 0 1 0 0
Scams 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 1 0 0 1 2 3
TOTAL 2 0 1 3 6 7

The number of STRs decreased by 50% from the previous quarter. Of the 3 reports, 1 report was related to unusual significant transactions, 1 was in relation to possible avoidance of exchange control requirements through structuring the 1 was in relation to use of third party to conceal suspicious transactions.

3. Number of STRs disseminated

Following the analysis of the 3 STRs, only 1 was disseminated to law enforcement agencies for investigations of possible offences. The remaining 2 reports were referred to the Exchange Control Unit within the Reserve Bank given possible breaches of exchange control related requirements.

Law Enforcement Agencies
Apr 19 May 19 Jun 19 Total
Jun 19
QTR
Mar 19
QTR
Jun 18
QTR

Police 0 0 0 0 1 3
Customs & Revenue
1 0 0 1 3 2
Foreign Affairs (Immigration)
0 0 0 0 0 0
Other (reporting entity & other NRBT departments 1 0 1 2 2 0

4. CTR Data Analysis

  Apr 19
(TOP$M)
May 19
(TOP$M)
Jun 19
(TOP$M)
Totals
Jun 19
QTR
(TOP$M)
Mat 19
QTR
(TOP$M)
Jun 18
QTR
(TOP$M)

Inwards 26.09 18.35 21.16 65.6 57.74 56.8
Outwards
12.05 11.9 11.81 35.76 37.4 27.84
Transaction Purpose
Business
28.36 20.46 23.14 71.96 61.85 51.9
Personal 9.78 9.79 9.83 29.4 33.29 32.74
Transaction Type
TT
1.38 0.89 0.86 3.13 9 11.04
Cash 13.72 14.18 13.69 41.59 33.15 36.05
Cheque 13.22 9.63 11.33 34.18 26.09 19.24
Cash/Cheque 3.01 3.64 2.73 9.38 5.96 7.47
Other 6.81 1.91 4.36 13.08 20.94 10.84

The FIU received 3,628 reports in this quarter increasing from 3,168 in the previous quarter. Inward transactions increased and were mainly seen in rise of business related transactions which were mostly noted in the use of cash as well as cheque for transactions.

5. BCR Data Analysis

  Apr 19
(TOP$M)
May 19
(TOP$M)
Jun 19
(TOP$M)
Totals
Jun 19
QTR
(TOP$M)
Mar 19
QTR
(TOP$M)
Jun 18
QTR
(TOP$M)

Inbound 0 0.11 0.08 0.19 0.27 0.43
Outbound
1.1 5.52 5.09 11.71 13.23 8.3
Purpose of funds
Business
1.1 5.54 5.02 11.66 13.33 8.36
Personal 0. 0.09 0.15 0.24 0.17 0.37

The FIU received 23 BCRs this quarter from the Ministry of Revenue & Customs, a slight decrease from 25 reported in the previous quarter. Similar to previous quarters, majority of the BCRs were for outbound funds which were mostly pre-approved shipment of currencies for financial institutions and inbound funds were all for individuals. There were no suspicious activities noted on the BCRs submitted during the quarter.

6. Technical Assistance on Risk Based Approach to AML/CFT Supervision

Through assistance of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, the technical assistance provider first visited Tonga in February 2019 to conduct a scoping visit, which looked at risk profiling financial as well as non-financial sectors to feed into developing of a supervision framework for the supervisors. To complete the second part of this project, the TA provider returned in April 2019 to discuss and confirm the supervision documents developed during the first stages of the project as well as to assist the supervision staff with preparatory works to conducting an onsite visit. The TA provider completed and finalised this work in May 2019 and plan is underway for phases of implementation to the reporting entities.

7. Mutual Evaluation Preparation update

Tonga has completed the first part of the Mutual Evaluation process through submission of its Technical Compliance Response in April 2019. The assessors are expected to come back with follow-up questions for Tonga to confirm prior to their first visit in July 2019. Responsibilities towards Tonga’s Effectiveness Report was divided amongst the members of the Working Group on Serious Financial Crimes and response was completed and submitted to APG in June 2019.

8. Technical Assistance on Effectiveness Response

Before submission of its Effectiveness Response in June 2019, Tonga received more assistance from the APG to assist with preparing our responses. Ms. Cheryl McCarthy, Deputy Commissioner of Financial Supervisory Commission, Cook Islands was in Tonga in June to work with members of the Working Group on Serious Financial Crimes in completing their responses. The effectiveness response is an important part of the mutual evaluation as it focuses on whether our regulatory framework, policies and processes in place are operationally effective in combatting money laundering and counter terrorist financing. The workshop also focused on principles and process that assessors will expect stakeholders to grasp at both the pre-onsite and onsite visits.

9. Events

17 April 2019 Meeting of Working Group on Serious Financial Crimes to update Tonga’s Technical Compliance Response, Reserve Bank.
29 April - 10 May 2019 Technical Assistance on Risk Based Approach to AML/CFT Supervision, Reserve Bank.
7 May 2019 Meeting with Working Group on Serious Financial Crimes to discuss De-risking concerns in Tonga, Reserve Bank.
5 - 6 June 2019 Technical Assistance on drafting of Effectiveness Response to the Mutual Evaluation, Reserve Bank.
5 June 2019 Meeting of the Working Group on Serious Financial Crimes for assistance to draft Tonga’s Effectiveness Response, Reserve Bank.
28 June 2019 Meeting with New Zealand Police on Transnational Serious Crimes Organizations, Reserve Bank.

Financial Intelligence Unit Quarterly Reports Releases

FIU Quarterly Reports for 2019


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