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Paper: Increase in money laundering reports after banks step up vigilance

Reports of money laundering are becoming more common in Finland, and law enforcement officials say that in some cases laundered cash is later used to finance terrorist activities, the National Bureau of Investigation told the newspaper Uutissuomalainen.

Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

So far this year, the National Bureau of Investigation received some 23,400 criminal complaints of suspected cases of money laundering, according to a report in Uutissuomalainen.

Vasara said the recent increase is largely attributable to banks' increasing vigilance - and most criminal complaints the NBI receive about money laundering are usually about private customers.

If the trend continues, an NBI money laundering investigator Pekka Vasara said that the number of criminal complaints could rise to 50,000 by the end of the year.

"[A bank's] suspicions can be raise when a customer wants to deposit a large sum of cash, or when bank transfers are made that don't quite seem normal," Vasara said told the paper.

In some cases, he said, further suspicions arise that the money is used towards financing terrorist activities.

"First, a complaint about suspected money laundering would come in, but when we investigate we [sometimes] see contacts with terror networks. For example, when we see large amounts of money being sent to conflict areas of the Middle East," Vasara told the paper.

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