145. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of suspicious transaction reports that have been made to his Department on an annual basis in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019; his role in ensuring high-cash businesses comply with the Criminal Justice Act 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14317/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Suspicious Transaction Reports
My Department has no role in relation to the submission of Suspicious Transaction Reports, which are made to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of An Garda Síochána and to the Revenue Commissioners, by designated entities under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 (as amended). Up-to-date figures as to the numbers of STRs submitted to the FIU have been requested from An Garda Síochána and I will provide them to the Deputy as soon as possible.
Compliance with the Criminal Justice Act 2013
The Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Unit in the Department of Justice and Equality is responsible for ensuring compliance with certain elements of national Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing legislation.
The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2013 and the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2018, consolidated Ireland’s existing anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws and transposed the Third and Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directives.
The Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Unit (AMLCU) has been established within the Department to administer the functions of the competent authority under the Acts. A number of competent authorities are designated by the Acts, with responsibility for specific sub-sectors of businesses designated under the Acts. The AMLCU is the competent authority for
- high value cash traders such as car sales and jewellers etc
- trust or company service providers
- private members gaming clubs
- unregulated accountants/tax advisers.
The AMLCU pursues a risk-based approach to supervision. This means that, following inspections, entities/businesses are assigned one of four risk ratings (low, medium-low, medium-high or high) in accordance with a scoring template containing a range of questions. This rating, along with information on compliance levels within the different sectors, forms the basis for the prioritisation of inspections on an annual basis.
Compliance monitoring inspections are carried out by AMLCU on an ongoing basis. The businesses involved include high value cash traders such as car sales and jewellers etc., trust or company service providers, private members gaming clubs and unregulated accountants/tax advisers.
Many other agencies have a significant role in the issue of combatting money-laundering; these include the Department of Finance, Central Bank, Revenue Commissioners, certain professional regulatory bodies and An Garda Síochána.
The AMLCU continues to hold industry outreach events to inform industry stakeholders of their obligations to comply and how to do so. These events are welcomed and well attended by industry representatives. The most recent event was held on March 22 nd and was specifically targeted at high value goods dealers.