Maldives : FIU uncovers cases of money laundering and terrorism financing

Maldives Monetary Authority’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) revealed on Sunday that the agency’s majority focus in 2017, was counter-terrorism funding investigations. According to the annual report released by FIU, the central bank tasked with investigating suspected money laundering and terrorism financing taking place between Maldives and the rest of the world, had analyzed 13 financial transactions possibly linked to crime.

 Of the cases being scrutinized, 54 percent were suspected direct counter-terrorism funding investigations, while an additional 23 percent concerned transactions taking place between known international hotspots for terrorism funding or laundering money. The remaining cases were related to individuals who carried out transactions in quantities of money that should not be accessed in consideration of their economic status.
 Despite not disclosing specific details regarding the investigations, the report highlighted that acts of terrorism were generally self-funded through financial institutions set up by individuals. The includes the cost of tickets, accommodation and food to locals travelling to participate in civil wars in other countries. The report also proves that there have been considerable efforts by Maldivians to enter the war-racked nation of Syria via its neighbouring Turkey.

 Having conveyed their findings to relevant authorities, FIU has thus directed the responsibility of taking the necessary measures. More than 10 cases were handed over to the police, while another 4 are being investigated by the Counter Terrorism Centre. A total of 9 cases are being jointly investigated by the police and Maldives Inland Revenue Authority. FIU is an independent agency of the Maldives Monetary Authority ( MMA), established under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act.


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