BVI News

FIA: Money laundering prevalent, 530 suspicious activity reports in 2016

Five hundred and thirty Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) were made to the BVI Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) back in 2016.

The FIA’s recently-released 2016 annual report said the figure represents a 77 percent increase when compared to the number of suspicious activity reports received in the previous year.

The annual report said most of the SARs were linked to alleged money laundering activities in the British Virgin Islands.
Of the 530 suspicious activity reports, 238 were about money laundering, 82 were reports of fraud, and 53 were tax evasion reports. Another 29 were corruption reports, 15 were reports of bribery, and 60 were reports of unknown nature.

“This suggests that money laundering is the main criminal activity allegedly perpetrated by criminals associated with BVI business companies,” the 2016 annual report said.

A breakdown of the second most prevalent types of offences reported in 2016 shows incidents relating to drug trafficking, embezzlement, extortion, and a number of other financial crimes.

The second most prevalent types of offences reported to the FIA in 2016.

The FIA conducted subsequent investigations and shared information about suspicious activity reports with several foreign and domestic partners including the Financial Services Commission, local and international law enforcement agencies, and foreign financial investigation units.

The information was shared based on multiple Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) the FIA has signed with local and international agencies to tackle financial crime.

670 requests for information

In 2016, the FIA received 670 requests for information from some 72 different signatory countries, the annual report said. Most of these requests came from the Russian Federation which made 44 requests, the United Kingdom with 39 requests, and the United States with 32.

Locally, the FIA received requests for information from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Her Majesty’s Customs, the Governor’s Office, the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Financial Services Commission, and others.

The FIA is yet to release an annual report for 2017. But, data shows the number of suspicious activity reports to the FIA has been steadily increasing for the last few years.

There were 217 reports in 2014 and 308 in 2015.

The FIA’s 2016 annual report has been released amid the UK’s amendment to their Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which is forcing the BVI to implement what are known as public registers of beneficial ownership by December 31, 2020.

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14 Comments

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  1. Rubber Duck says:

    When we received the insurance money for Irma, morons at the bank immediately launched an investigation into the source of funds, bombarding me with demands for proof of source etc. Alongside the payment was the name of the insurance company including the word “ insurance “

    So iinsurance payouts and cretorons in the banks may well be the reason for the 77% increase.

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
    • BVIYoungman says:

      WELLLL SAHHHHHH! and the commenters, along with Financial Services workers love to argue say that the “BVI is CLEAN of Money Laundering”. woiiiiiiiiii

      The 2017 papers going Shut Ayoo Uppp!!!

      there is no turning back from this Public Register Law Nowwwwwwwwww! #CleanUpYourAct #ItsYallIsWhoBlightItTryingToActLikeYouKnowEverythingAboutTheFinancialServicesIndustry! #NowLookAtThis!

      Like 1
      Dislike 7
    • Reading Fundamentalist says:

      The article refers to the FIA’s recently released 2016 Annual Report. Hurricane Irma happened in September 2017, a year later.

      Please be guided accordingly.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • Reading Fundamentalist says:

      The article refers to the FIA’s recently released 2016 Annual Report. The 77% figure refers to the increase in the number of reports made in 2016 over the number made in 2015.

      Hurricane Irma happened in September 2017, a year later. The article also states that the FIA is yet to release an annual report for 2017.

      Please be guided accordingly.

  2. BVI lawyer says:

    I suspect what the dramatic increase in SARs reflects is that registered agents and other financial services professionals take their obligations to report suspicious conduct much more seriously than before.

    These are the 2016 numbers, so this is long time before BOSS was introduced or the UK’s sanctions and money laundering bill. I would guess that the 2017 numbers, when released, would also show an increase. But I suspect that reflects “more reporting” rather than “more money laundering”.

    What would be very interesting to know is how many of those 530 SARs resulting in any kind of follow-up action or inquiry from the FIA.

    Like 13
  3. Maybe ... says:

    Maybe because compliance officers are now forwarding more on to authorities so their company avoids liability for anything with a whiff of stink?
    Maybe that’s because we were rumbled by the Panama and Paradise Papers?
    How many investigations did FIA we launch/complete and how many led to action by authorities/law enforcement?
    Are we becoming cleaner? Yes, I think this shows we are, gradually. Does it show how loose we have been for the last decades?
    Yes, that, too.

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  4. Maria Louisa Varlack says:

    This is the reason why the UK Government wants to intervene into the politics and the political activity that is going on in The Territory of The British Virgin Islands. No wonder and I do not give them wrong and I do not blame them in any way.

    Like 3
    Dislike 7
  5. BuzzBvi says:

    How many accounts of suspicious activity were identified by the FIA without referral? What have they been doing for their own part to keep their house clean?

  6. Not In This House says:

    It shows that we are being vigilant in reporting suspicious activities and preventing money laundering.

    • Alternatively ... says:

      Hmm I doubt it. As a poster above said, it’s more likely that the reporting has gone up because rules have got tighter. This does not reflect how clean we are or how dirty were before those rules got tightened. I think it tells us we’ve been getting rich (OK, the BVI has been getting high revenues from … ) money laundering tax avoidance and all those things the UK govt has been clamping down on.
      Why are we, a Christian territory, in such deep denial about the dirty business we’ve been relying on for these years?

  7. james says:

    let us pray to JESUS to save us. god sent hurricane Irma and soon after british to destabilse us. od is watching every thing from above through C C T V CAMERAS WE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY ENJOYING BLOOD MONEY HEY HEY HEE HEEE

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  8. Do not get it twisted says:

    How many of these reports were related to local BVI companies being involved? Please remember, the not so knowledgeable public, local public, in the UK, and further afield, think that some of these companies are local or affiliated with local persons. Additionally, the foreign media is being directed to focus on BVI,s performance and not on the performance of the countries from the West that are a part of the G-8 and have financial services industries as well. How do they stack up against BVI? Hhhhhhhmmmm. While I agree with the mother country, UK, that we must be diligent and beware of infiltration by other countries using BVI legal vehicles to do illegal transactions, we must also wonder are there other motives for the BO law implementation by 2020. I have been observing information that UK presence in the Caribbean maybe because of Russian and Chinese presence in the Caribbean. They have undermined Venezuela’s economy which came about by orchestrated activities by powerful members of the OPEC oil group to bring down oil prices and upon which Venezuela was depending on for National revenues to fund projects and government operations. Was the 3 storms, The Flood August 7, 2018, Hurricane Irma Sept 6, 2018, and Hurricane Maria Sept 16, 2018 sent to covertly give reason for UK to be here? Was the taking over of the civil aviation departments in the Caribbean Overseas Territories years ago by the UK government body ASSI part of the plan to prevent further infiltration by the Russians and Chinese? If these were the reasons, then I would have to stand corrected that UK has a good reason to be in the BVI. Still concerned though because they are still a part of the New World Order and collecting data on all of us and prepping us for the UN agenda of decolonization by 2020 – 2030 which means being chipped and monitored by the high definition satellites over us that are close to earth more than ever, by the smart TVs that we are buying on the cheap at supermarkets (ever thought about that?), and the data collection by the Red Cross. This is a lot to think about and analyze, but worth doing so. I believe that there is merit to it. Look at the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzj88PMhHMQ and do further research.

  9. rastarite says:

    It would be interesting to know what the FIA has done with the increased reporting of dodgy practices. If it investigates thoroughly how many have been charged and found guilty. If Due Diligence only means financial institutions reporting to FIA and then it goes nowhere it’s sounds pretty hopeless

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