Central Bank suspends alleged terrorist financing accounts
Central Bank investigations through its specialized Finance Intelligence Unit (FIU) into terrorist financing activities has resulted in several ‘suspicious’ bank accounts being suspended and legal action initiated with the support of the law enforcement authorities to prosecute the parties concerned.
In a statement this week, the Bank urged the public to be aware of the dangers of getting involved in unlawful financial transactions that are detrimental to ‘public or national interest and the country’s security situation at large.’
The FIU has strengthened the Bank’s capabilities to prevent unlawful financial transactions relating to money laundering and terrorist financing in terms of international best practices and in line with the recommendations made by the “Financial Action Task Force” which now has a membership of 34 countries.
The unit is managed by experienced officers who possess multiple qualifications and also necessary skills in their respective fields, and reports to an Assistant Governor and Deputy Governor.
Some of the recent measures initiated by the FIU include formulating of reporting procedures and directions which have been issued to licensed banks, registered finance companies and stock brokers requiring them to comply with detailed “Know-Your-Customer “rules. Accordingly, all institutions are expected to have detailed information on customers and the nature and sources of their financial transactions, according to the Bank statement.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed with the Central Bank in Malaysia (Bank Negara Malaysia) for the exchange of information, and the Colombo Bank is planning on similar MOUs with the other FIUs in the region as well.