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7.3 Meaning of Suspicious Transaction

Effective from 1/6/2021

(AML-CFT Law Article 16; AML-CFT Decision Article 17.1)

Within the meaning of the AML-CFT Law and its implementing AML-CFT Decision, a suspicious transaction refers to any transaction, attempted transaction, or funds which an FI has reasonable grounds to suspect as constituting—in whole or in part, and regardless of the amount or the timing—any of the following:

The proceeds of crime (whether designated as a misdemeanour or felony, and whether committed within the State or in another country in which it is also a crime);
Being related to the crimes of money laundering, the financing of terrorism, or the financing of illegal organisations;
Being intended to be used in an activity related to such crimes.

It should be noted that the only requirement for a transaction to be considered as suspicious is “reasonable grounds” in relation to the conditions referenced above. Thus, the suspicious nature of a transaction can be inferred from certain information, including indicators, behavioural patterns, or CDD information, and it is not dependent on obtaining evidence that a predicate offence has actually occurred or on proving the illicit source of the proceeds involved. FIs do not need to have knowledge of the underlying criminal activity nor any founded suspicion that the proceeds originate from a criminal activity; reasonable grounds are sufficient.

FIs should also note that transactions need not be completed, in progress or pending completion in order to be considered as suspicious. Attempted transactions, transactions that are not executed and past transactions, regardless of their timing or completion status, which are found upon review to cause reasonable grounds for suspicion, must be reported in accordance with the relevant requirements.