Total of 23,422 suspicious transactions last year

Total of 23,422 suspicious transactions last year

Financial institutions reported 23,422 suspicious financial transactions to the Revenue and gardaí in 2018, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has confirmed.

He said the most recent figures by value for 2018 will be published in May, but in a written Dáil reply to Independent TD Clare Daly, Mr Donohoe said the 2017 yield to Revenue from audit cases involving so-called suspicious transaction reports (STRs) came to €5.5m.

Mr Donohoe said that designated bodies are required to submit STRs to Revenue and the gardaí where they suspect a money-laundering offence may have been committed.

“Tax evasion is a predicate offence for money laundering. In cases where the STR relates to other criminal activity, it becomes a matter for An Garda Síochána,” he said.

Mr Donohoe said that although there was an annual fall of 5%, 2018 was the second highest for STRs since 2009.

STRs involving firms are designated under the Criminal Justice Money Laundering and Terrorist Funding Act.

“On receipt by Revenue, all STRs are linked to the relevant taxpayer’s record, assigned a risk rating, and the data is incorporated into each taxpayer’s risk profile, informing Revenue’s decision as to the nature of any compliance intervention that may be appropriate having regards to the overall risk,” said Mr Donohoe.

He warned members of the public to protect themselves against the effort of fraudsters to get access to their money.

Mr Donohoe said the Revenue regularly highlights the importance of taxpayers taking appropriate steps to safeguard their personal financial and banking details

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