The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Trinidad and Tobago, incorporated under the Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago Act of 2009, has been established to implement the anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) policies of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an intergovernmental organization set up by the Group of Seven industrialized countries. On the 3rd July, 2013 the FIU was admitted as a member of the EGMONT Group of FIUs.
The FIU is the AML/CFT regulator and primary institution responsible for the collection of financial intelligence and information and the analysis, dissemination, and exchange of such financial intelligence.
The FIU also monitors the effectiveness of anti-money laundering policies by maintaining comprehensive statistics on:
- Suspicious transaction or suspicious activity reports received and transmitted to law enforcement
- Money laundering investigation and convictions;
- Property frozen, seized and confiscated; and
- International request for mutual legal assistance or other co-operation.
Functions of the FIUTT
The FIUTT shall effectively monitor non-regulated financial institutions and listed businesses for which it is the Supervisory Authority and shall take the necessary measures to secure compliance with AML/CFT Legislative regime of Trinidad and Tobago. The main functions of the FIUTT are to:
Receive and Analyse SARs/STRs and other Financial Intelligence
- To receive suspicious transactions and suspicious activity reports from financial institutions and listed businesses.
- Request financial information from a financial institutions or listed business to facilitate the exercise of its power.
- Analyse and evaluate reports and information, to determine whether there is sufficient basis to disseminate Intelligence Reports for investigation by any local or foreign law enforcement authority.
- Collect information as required for:
- The Annual and Periodic Reports
- Tactical analyses, in order to generate activity patterns, investigate leads and identify possible future behaviour.
Supervise and Monitor the Effectiveness of the System
The FIUTT monitors the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering policies by:
- Monitoring for compliance.
- Supervise Listed Businesses and Non-regulated Financial Institutions to ensure compliance with the AML/CFT regime of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Set reporting standards to be followed by financial institutions and listed businesses.
- Take enforcement action for failure to comply.
- Conduct outreach and awareness sessions.
Co-Operate and Liaise with other Authorities and Stakeholders
The FIU may, in the performance of its functions:
- Disseminate at regular intervals, financial intelligence and information to local and foreign authorities and its affiliates within the intelligence community, including statistics on recent money laundering practices and offences.
- Facilitate the sharing of information among local financial institutions and listed businesses and prosecutorial authorities.
- Provide assistance to financial institutions and listed businesses in connection with their obligation under the FIU Act.
- Retain all pertinent information it receives for a minimum of six years.
- Engage in the exchange of financial intelligence with members of the Egmont Group- www.egmontgroup.org
Powers of the FIUTT
- Where after the analysis of a suspicious transaction or suspicious activity report from the financial institution or listed businesses the Director is of the view that further information may disclose that a specified offence has been or may be committed or the proceeds of crime are or may be in Trinidad and Tobago or elsewhere, he may:
- Request further information from a financial institution or listed business within a specified time, which information shall be provided accordingly; or
- After the FIU has concluded its analysis or evaluation of a suspicious transfer or activity report, and in which the Director is the view that circumstances warrant investigation:
- A report shall be submitted to the relevant law enforcement authority for investigation to determine whether a money laundering offence has been committed, or whether the proceeds of crime is in Trinidad and Tobago or elsewhere.