Cyber Crime Behind $100 Million Laundered Money Flowing Through Fiji Financial System

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SUVA – Cyber crimes are on the rise in the country as experts estimate at least $100million of laundered money going through our financial systems.

Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit director Razim Buksh says at least $33million or one third of the amount is through tax evasion.

The other two thirds include proceeds of crime, cyber crimes and cheque frauds.

For the third year in a row, the FIU held its annual National Anti Money Laundering Conference to discuss how best Fiji could prepare and protect itself against money laundering.

Buksh said cyber crimes were steadily increasing and some locals had been duped into sending money or accessing websites, which captured their user names and passwords and then withdrew their money. He said the cyber crimes committed were usually by foreigners, at least 90 per cent.

Officer-in-charge of the Fiji Police Force Anti Money Laundering Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police Puran Lal said locals collectively lost close to a $1million in a visa scam after responding to an advertisement by a man who offered permanent residency in Australia and asked for bank card details.

But for those intending to commit such crimes, the FIU with the other “partners” have measures in place to monitor the financial systems in the country.

The FIU has access to several government databases in the country such as the Registrar General, Immigration as well as all financial institutions.

Buksh said they received at least 50-60 suspicious transactions every month.