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Online gaming accounted for 88% of all suspicious activity reports related to money laundering received by the Bailiwick of Guernsey’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in 2022.
Reports surrounding online gambling activity accounted for 76% of the total suspicious activity reports filed in 2022. The total number of reports submitted in reference to online gambling was 28% lower than in 2021.
Overall, the FIU received 2,656 suspicious activity reports in 2022. This was down by 26.2% from 2021.
The FIU processes suspicious activity reports filed by businesses in Guernsey. This is in respect to the country’s laws, including its 2022 Terrorism and Crime law.
Risk of money laundering “remains low”
While online gambling was by far the largest reporting sector for the FIU in 2022, reviews had concluded the money laundering risk “remains low”. The FIU noted that, in the majority of cases, operators also submitted the reports to authorities in the UK.
The FIU said just one licensee raised 89% of all suspicious activity reports from the online gambling sector, the same percentage as in 2021.
Another trend that carried over from 2021 was the two main reasons for reporting – detrimental open source information coming to light and non-compliance with due diligence requests.
The FIU identified that a majority of the online gambling suspicious reports were made in May, June and July. This averaged at over 200 reports per month.
The number of these reports submitted in May was 346. This was the highest amount ever submitted in a single month in regards to the online gambling industry.
Uptick in forgery activities
While the FIU classified the money laundering risk in gambling as low, it said that reports for fraud, false accounting or forgery had increased.
Of all the fraud, false accounting or forgery suspicious reports received – which added up to 441 – 299 of these stemmed from online gambling activity.
The FIU said it connected 275 of these to an organised crime group committing fraud. It referred this case to UK law enforcement.
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