Demonetisation saw phenomenal jump in suspicious transactions: finance ministry

 Demonetisation of the rupee saw a phenomenal jump in the number of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) received by the finance ministry’s financial intelligence unit (FIU) during 2016-17.

According to a PTI report, the FIU noted that the number of suspicious transaction reports received in 2016-17 was 4,73,006, “which is more than four times as compared to 2015-16 and this increase is attributed to demonetisaton exercise.”
Banks and other financial institutions generated 400 per cent more STRs in 2016-17. Counterfeit currency transactions in the banking and other economic channels saw an increase of over 3.22 lakh in 2016-17, said the FIU report.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisatioin of Rs1,000 and Rs500 notes on the night of November 8, 2016.
The figures revealed by the FIU are the highest-ever generated since counterfeit currency reports were brought out almost 10 years ago. The counterfeit currency reports (CCRs) in 2016-17 added up to over 7.33 lakh, as against 4.1 lakh just a year earlier.
Banks and other financial institutions are required to generate STRs and send them to the FIU under the anti-money laundering law.
“The most notable increase (in generating suspicious transaction reports) was in the category of banks, which recorded almost a 489 per cent increase over 2015-16,” said the FIU report. “The increase was 270 per cent in the category of financial intermediaries.”
Following the liberalised scheme relating to opening bank accounts, with minimum KYC requirements, the FIU has identified “abnormal patterns of deposits made by individuals as well as high risk geographical areas” and passed on the information to the concerned law enforcement agencies for action.