The Financial Intelligence Unit-the Netherlands is the sole central body to which institutions with a duty to report are obliged to report unusual transactions under the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act. Below you will find more information on FIU-the Netherlands, its mission, tasks and powers.
From 1994, the year the duty to report was introduced, all banks and other financial institutions in the Netherlands had to report unusual transactions to the Unusual Transactions Desk. On 1 January 2006, the desk amalgamated with the National Public Prosecutor’s Bureau for police support to become the Financial Intelligence Unit-the Netherlands.
Since 1 January 2013, FIU-Netherlands has been an autonomous and independent body, operating administratively under the Netherlands Police and policy-wise under the Ministry of Security and Justice.
Mission, tasks, and powers
FIU-the Netherlands’ mission is to use financial intelligence to contribute to the prevention and combating of crime, money laundering, and terrorist financing, with a view to ensuring the integrity of the financial system in the Netherlands and elsewhere.
FIU-the Netherlands’ legal tasks are described in section 13 of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act. FIU’s main task is to investigate unusual transactions, provide additional information, and decide whether the transactions in question must be declared suspicious so that information on them can be shared with investigation and security services.
Each year, FIU-the Netherlands receives some 400,000 reports of unusual transactions. These are registered in a secure database, sometimes referred to as the buffer, and are handled confidentially. Only authorized FIU personnel has access to this database.
Declaring an unusual transaction suspicious
The Head of FIU-the Netherlands is the only authority who can declare an unusual transaction suspicious. Such a declaration follows after:
1 a match with police data,
2 FIU investigation,
3 request via public prosecutor,
4 request from FIU or FIUs abroad.
The suspicious transactions are registered in Blueview, a police information system to which all investigative services have access.
Request under section 17 of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act
FIU-the Netherlands attaches great importance to collaboration with the institutions that have a duty to report. Only high-quality reports enable FIU-Netherlands to carry out a speedy and effective investigation into the possible involvement of individuals in money laundering or financing terrorism. Under section 17 of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act, FIU-the Netherlands has the right to request further information from the reporting institution, in addition to the intelligence already present.
Records of unusual transactions are kept for five years and then removed from the database and destroyed. Records of suspicious transactions are kept for ten years.
Indemnity and feedback
In response to having reported an unusual transaction, an institution receives an acknowledgement of receipt and indemnity.
On the basis of experience with earlier cases and information from other sources, FIU-the Netherlands provides feedback to the institutions that report unusual transactions. If deemed necessary, these institutions can adapt their internal organizational structures and become aware of certain trends and patterns indicative of money laundering or financing of terrorism.
For more information on FIU-the Netherlands, please see Annual reports.