8 September 2021, 10:38
8 September 2021, 10:38
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for educational purposes only. Please consult your regulating body for accurate, up-to-date information in your region.
SAR is the shorthand of suspicious activity report – a report that must be submitted to relevant authorities if there is a case of suspected money laundering or fraud.
In the United Kingdom, people working within the regulated sector are required by law to submit a SAR “if they know, or suspect… that a person is engaged in, or attempting, money laundering or terrorist financing” through their work according to the National Crime Agency.
However, you might be obligated to submit a SAR even if you are not working within the regulated sector or else you may be breaking the law. Seek legal advice independently or through your professional body if you are unsure.
By submitting a SAR to the National Crime Agency, you will be complying with any potential obligations you have under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) in the United Kingdom.
It is important to note that what is needed on SAR is different from territory to territory – and even from institution to institution, so be sure to be informed to be compliant with your perspective regulatory bodies. In addition, failure to report suspicious activities might lead to hefty fines, legal consequences affecting the institution, and even imprisonment.
It is imperative to report all suspicious activity to the relevant authorities to stay compliant, but also to have a record of all offenses. Doing so will document and bring forward the patterns of offenses that might be crucial to catching criminals.
In the United Kingdom, SAR is made to The National Crime Agency through the SAR Online System.
You should make a SAR “as soon as you ‘know’ or ‘suspect’ that a person is engaged in money laundering or dealing in criminal property” according to the National Crime Agency.
The quality of your SAR matters. Poor quality reports mean delays in processing and unnecessary issues when the case is taken to court. However, a high-quality SAR means fast-tracked processing of the report – and gives the Agency with adequate amount of information to make its decision to investigate the case or not.
When writing a SAR, include as much detail as you can – even if it seems irrelevant as it could become a valuable piece of information.
If persons are concerned, be sure to include:
to avoid misidentification of people.
Remember, missing or inaccurate information:
For more information, please consult UK Financial Intelligence Unit’s Guidance on Submitting Better Quality Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).
The UK Financial Intelligence Unit regularly releases resources related to reporting suspicious activity – one of its routine publications includes SARs Reporter Booklet, with its latest release being in August 2021.
The SARs Reporter Booklets “have been instrumental in identifying sex offenders, fraud victims, murder suspects, missing persons, people traffickers, fugitives and terrorist financing.”
The August 2021 SARs Reporter Booklet provides some of the best SAR examples UKFI have received. It also emphasizes the work of law enforcement agencies using SARs to start and continue investigating suspected crimes.
With DX Compliance, SARs take minutes instead of close to an hour to complete. DX automates the SAR process, eliminating human error and ensuring that you are submitting high-quality SARs whilst always staying compliant.
The introduction of 6AMLD regulations aims to reduce financial crimes.Get access
27.07.2021 AML Compliance
Uncovering the PEP and Sanctions Lists and Global RegulationGet access
26.04.2021 AML Compliance
How Fintech has set the foundation and facilitated the growth of Regtech.Get access