Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (185)

Joan Burton

Question:

185. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of suspicious transaction reports that have been made to the Revenue Commissioners on an annual basis in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the role of the Revenue Commissioners in combatting money laundering; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19941/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that the numbers of suspicious transactions reports (STRs) received from designated bodies, including financial institutions, under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Funding) Act 2010, in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to the end of April this year, are set out in the following table.

Year

No. of STRs Received

2014

18,149

2015

21,358

2016

22,607

2017

24,232

2018

23,422

2019 (to end April)

7,390

I am advised also that the acts of money laundering and terrorist financing are not Revenue offences and that Revenue is not the competent authority to investigate such offences. Under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, An Garda Síochána is the relevant body with responsibility for investigating offences of this kind.  

Tax evasion is viewed as a predicate offence for money laundering, and I am advised that Revenue contributes to the national imperative of countering money laundering and terrorist financing by, inter alia:

Reducing the opportunity for tax evasion,

Countering the activities of those involved in drug smuggling, cigarette smuggling, alcohol smuggling, fuel laundering and Intellectual Property Rights fraud,

Supporting those agencies directly involved in the investigation of money laundering and terrorist financing,

Cooperating with An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau, including the provision of key personnel with specific investigative and operational skills to the Criminal Assets Bureau,

Maintaining well-developed links between the Garda Financial Intelligence Unit and Revenue’s Suspicious Transaction Unit,

Participating in Working Groups such as the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Steering Committee under the aegis of the Department of Finance; and 

Engaging with designated bodies at conferences and industry fora to communicate best practice for Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLRO).