Reply to Parliamentary Question on Suspicious Financial Transaction Reports Related to Wildlife Crime
1. Financial institutions (FIs) and other relevant business entities such as traders or agents are required by law to report suspicious transactions related to illegal wildlife trafficking (IWT). The Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (STRO) does not publicly release detailed statistics relating to suspicious transaction reports (STRs).
2. Enforcement action can be taken against FIs for non-compliance. MAS also assesses FIs’ ability to detect and report suspicious transactions in a timely manner through ongoing supervision of their anti-money laundering controls. MAS has drawn FIs’ attention to relevant reports published by the Financial Action Task Force on the modus operandi used to launder proceeds from IWT. In addition, STRO proactively shares red flag indicators of IWT with banks, traders and their agents. The Association of Banks in Singapore also holds seminars and workshops to share best practices on managing the money laundering risks from IWT.
3. Mr Ng has highlighted an area of growing concern in the international community. As criminals become more sophisticated in concealing their illegal activities, combating money laundering related to IWT will require constant vigilance and close collaboration between the government and the private sector.