The Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has published its Annual Report for 2020, highlighting its performance and achievements during the year. Highlights from this report are discussed below.
The report identifies that even though 2020 offered a huge challenge in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FIU’s operational resilience and business continuity measures helped it achieve its performance goals. The goals included the implementation of work-from-home system to continue the FIU’s work during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
In 2020, the Fiji FIU continued to assist several Fijian and foreign law enforcement partner agencies by sharing intelligence, providing investigative assistance and performing background checks. The FIU shared over 270 intelligence reports, involving $127 million in illicit funds, with the Fiji Police Force, FICAC, FRCS and other domestic and foreign agencies. It provided investigative assistance in 127 cases and conducted 70 background checks for other agencies. The FIU was also able to uncover a new form of financial crime involving COVID-19 related online fraud.
The Fiji FIU furthered its communication with the financial institutions and other stakeholders by implementing new AML/CFT policies, onsite compliance inspections and training. This helped improve the quality of reporting and implementation of measures to prevent non-compliance.
The Fiji FIU recorded its highest number of annual remittance transactions in 2020, as a result of the higher number of personal inward remittances that Fijians reported during the pandemic. Moreover, understandably, the number of Border Currency Reports decreased from 1102 in 2019 to 266 in 2020 due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
Source: Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit