The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) provides financial intelligence relating to suspicious transactions, money laundering, the financing of terrorism and other serious offences. Its services are a response to the functions and powers set out in the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act). In this way the FIU helps the New Zealand Government fulfil its obligations to the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force, the Government's organised crime strategy and the prevention and detection of serious crime.
The FIU collects and collates information provided by external parties and reporting entities, especially banks and other financial institutions. After the required analysis, intelligence products are sent to other investigative and intelligence units within Police, sector supervisors, domestic partner agencies and to relevant international agencies.
Email the FIU using this Financial Intelligence Unit and goAML contact form.
How the FIU collects information
There are four main sources of information:
- Suspicious Transaction Reports
- Suspicious Property Reports
- Border Cash Reports
- Prescribed Transactions Reports (comes into force 1 November 2017)
Three agencies supervise and monitor the reporting entities within different sectors. These are the:
- Reserve Bank of New Zealand
- Financial Markets Authority
- Department of Internal Affairs.
More about reporting entities and sector supervisors.
Reports to the FIU are received through goAML Web, an integrated IT application.
More about goAML.
What the FIU does with reported information
The FIU creates intelligence products containing information, references and recommendations based on analysis of reports and other information received. Other material is produced in response to requests from other investigative and intelligence units or external agencies. These and other products assist with investigations into money laundering, financing of terrorism and other serious offences.
The FIU has a responsibility under the AML/CFT Act to produce guidance material for reporting entities in relation to their suspicious transaction obligations and about the methods and techniques used in money laundering and financing of terrorism.
Intelligence products are supplied to a range of FIU clients, including:
- Police Districts and Service Centres
- New Zealand Customs Service
- Sector Supervisors
- Inland Revenue Department
- Police Liaison Officers
- other external & Government agencies.
The services of the FIU allow the Police Commissioner to fulfil the requisite functions under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009. These services, as set out in the Act, are to:
- receive suspicious transaction reports
- produce guidance material, including
- typologies of money laundering and financing of terrorism transactions
- information for reporting entities on their obligations to report suspicious transactions and how to meet those obligations
- provide feedback to reporting entities on the quality and timeliness of their suspicious transaction reporting
- enforce requirements to provide suspicious transaction reports
- analyse suspicious transaction reports to assess whether any should be referred to investigative branches of the New Zealand Police and to other law enforcement agencies for criminal investigation
- refer to investigative branches of the New Zealand Police and to other law enforcement agencies any suspicious transaction reports that, in the view of the Commissioner, indicate grounds for criminal investigation
- refer suspicious transaction reports and feedback provided to reporting entities on any suspicious transaction reports to AML/CFT supervisors
- receive, analyse, and (if appropriate) refer to law enforcement agencies any border cash reports
- receive, analyse, and (if appropriate) refer to law enforcement agencies any suspicious property reports
- produce risk assessments relating to money laundering offences and the financing of terrorism to be used by the Ministry (currently the Department of State), the Ministry of Justice, AML/CFT supervisors and the New Zealand Customs Service
- co-operate with the Ministry (currently the Department of State), the Ministry of Justice, AML/CFT supervisors, the New Zealand Customs Service and any other relevant agencies to help ensure the effective implementation of the requirements under this Act and regulations.
The FIU also provides training and policy and legislative support.