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.
If your organization is registered with FIU-the Netherlands, it has a unique identity number for submitting reports: the Reporting ID. You can find the Reporting ID in the reporting portal under ‘My Reporting Details’.
FIU-the Netherlands stores reports of unusual transactions in a highly secure and protected database, where they are classified as “State secret – secret”. This database can only be accessed by employees of FIU-the Netherlands whose position requires such access. Nobody else has access to the database. If analysis of a given unusual transaction reveals sufficient grounds to designate it suspicious, the suspicious transaction becomes police data, which can be accessed by the investigative, intelligence, and security services. This suspicious transaction is no longer classified as “State secret – secret”, but now falls under the Police Data Act (Wet Politiegegevens).
The investigative services can use a suspicious transaction in various ways, and depending on these uses, it may end up in a prosecution file. If the suspicious transaction is included in a prosecution file, safeguards are in place to protect the safety of the reporting entity. These safeguards were further strengthened by a motion (NL) adopted by the Dutch House of Representatives in 2020.
On the basis of Articles 19 and 20 of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft), if entities with an obligation to report do so in good faith, correctly, in full, and in a timely manner, they have criminal indemnity and are not liable under civil law. This means that as a reporting party you cannot be held liable for any damage your customer may incur as a result of your report, for instance. In addition, data that you report to us in accordance with the standards may not be used against you in a criminal investigation.