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Reports of money laundering on the rise

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) says that banks are placing more effort into crime-fighting. Meanwhile people in Finland are still falling prey to seemingly-obvious internet scams, says its Financial Intelligence Unit.

Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Banks are reporting significantly more attempts at money laundering.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) says that during the first half of this year, the number of such notifications from banks rose by more than half compared to the same period of last year. The central criminal police said on Thursday that the sharp rise has partly come about because banks are now paying more attention to combating crime.

Altogether last year, the NBI's Financial Intelligence Unit investigated nearly 38,000 reports of shady monetary transactions. The team works with the OECD's Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, which in turn provides guidelines that have been adopted by the EU.

During the first six months of this year, the unit intervened in 19 business transactions involving some 560,000 euros.

Net scams still succeed

The Financial Intelligence Unit also tracks suspected cases of financing terrorism and efforts to bilk people out of money.

Finns are still falling for seemingly obvious internet scams, says NBI Detective Superintendent Pekka Vasara. He says some victims have been cheated out of hundreds of thousands of euros.

"A fraudulent message may urge the recipient to invest in real estate or gold in Africa in order to win millions in a lottery for instance," he says. "In many cases it is very difficult to recover these funds, even if you can find out who transferred or received them."

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