Money Laundering, Terrorism & Financial Institutions
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News Releases

11/25/2003 USA PATRIOT Act Monitor News Release: FinCEN Analyzes SAR Filings

FinCEN Review Looks at Trends in SAR Filings

In its 6th SAR Activity Review: Trends, Tips & Issues, FinCEN finds that the number of suspicious activity reports (SARs) specifically related to terrorism is declining, but that more SARs are being filed because of activities detected by financial institutions. This means that SARs are not just being filed because an individual or entity involved in a transaction is on OFAC's SDN list, or another watch list. In other words, institutions are learning to recognize patterns of suspicious activity. The SAR Activity Review also describes how international cash letters, which accompany instruments sent from overseas institutions for clearance at U.S. clearing banks, are proving useful in detecting suspicious activity. The clearing banks are several steps removed from the actual conversion of illicit funds to monetary instruments, but may be the first institutions inside U.S. borders to be able to detect the suspicious activity. The Review also contains an analysis of the growing criminal activity around coupon redemption fraud. These and other developments will be analyzed in detail in the December issue of the USA PATRIOT Act Monitor.

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