I have received a "Dissemination Notification". What does this mean?
FIU-the Netherlands receives unusual transactions (UTRs) from the obliged entities which we then analyze in the context of money laundering, predicate offences and terrorism financing. These analyses are based on, among other things, our own database of UTRs, additional sources such as police information, and the requests we can do based on article 17 of the Dutch AML/CFT legislation. This way we assess whether there is sufficient ground to declare a, or a combination of, transaction(s) suspicious.
The suspicious transactions (STRs) are shared with the relevant intelligence, security, and law enforcement services. If desired, they can be used for analysis purposes and as start, steer and process information. It is important to note that a suspicious transaction is not equivalent to a suspicion as described in Article 27 of the Dutch Code of Criminal Procedure. However, FIU-the Netherlands has assessed that the information contained in the transaction may be important for the prevention and detection of crimes in order to safeguard the integrity of the financial system. The intelligence, security, and law enforcement services decide independently whether they want to/can use the STR.
If we declare a UTR suspicious, you will receive a message about this. The exception is if there are compelling reasons not to send this message, for example certain confidentially risks
You will receive the message that a reported transaction has been declared suspicious, the so-called dissemination notification, through our portal. It is important that you do not jump to conclusions based on this. This is because we are not allowed to share why a transaction has been declared suspicious and so the exact reason remains unknown to you. Our advice, therefore, is to see a declaration of suspicion as additional information. No more and no less. Based on your own information position and your risk appetite, you as gatekeeper decide what to do. An example could be to analyse the circumstances of the transaction in more detail or to additionally monitor them. This will increase your understanding of potential risks and thus leads to better decision making.
We realize that as an entity with an obligation to report you wish for a substantive response to your report. However, within the legal constraints of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft), the possibilities for a response are limited. A large part of our work may not be shared. Nevertheless, we do make every effort to provide you with feedback: not only can this increase your motivation to report, but it also gives you the possibility to tighten up your internal processes and to revise the risk profiles of your customers or products, thus enabling you to fulfil your gatekeeper’s role more effectively. We provide feedback responses in the following ways:
- By (wherever possible) informing the reporting entity if a transaction they have reported is designated suspicious. However, we are not permitted to inform you about the reasons for this designation, or about what the investigative authorities do with this information.
- By including case histories on our website. We regularly share concrete case histories based on real-life examples, the aim being to give reporting entities as much information as possible about what money laundering and terrorist financing may look like in practice.
- By publishing an annual report in which, among other things, we comment on the numbers of unusual and suspicious transactions per calendar year. In each annual report, we also describe several noteworthy analyses we have carried out during the year.
- By sending out newsletters. Our newsletters are intended to keep entities with an obligation to report informed about trends, phenomena, and changes in the legislation. If possible, we also share any red flags we have been alerted to.
- By providing training for entities with an obligation to report in the form of presentations.
Although we do our best to make as much progress as possible in this area, there is doubtless room for improvement. Please contact us if you have any ideas about this.
Yes, you must report these unusual transactions to FIU-the Netherlands. This is required in line with one of the objective indicators set out in the Implementation Decree for the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft) (Uitvoeringsbesluit Wwft 2018): “It is logical that transactions reported to the police or the Public Prosecution Service in connection with money laundering or terrorist financing should also be reported to the Financial Intelligence Unit; after all, there is an assumption that these transactions may be related to money laundering or terrorist financing”.
Based on the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft), reporting entities are under an obligation to report any unusual transaction, whether completed or intended. If you fail to do so, you are in breach of the Wwft. If, whether intentionally or unintentionally, you do not meet the obligation to report, you commit an economic crime that has certain consequences. Further information on failure to report an unusual transaction can be found on the page Obligation to report.