Typically, a number of predicate offences are associated with money laundering: these may consist of tax fraud or offences related to bankruptcy proceedings. For information on various phenomena of the shadow economy and their impact, visit the Grey economy & economic crime page shared by the authorities.
Descriptions of phenomena within the shadow economy and economic criminality (Grey economy & economic crime)
The number of new electronic payment services and means for transferring money are both growing, and the supply is diversifying at an accelerating pace.
Cash in money laundering
Cash continues to have an essential role in money laundering and its prevention.
In 2019, a total of 6,766 reports concerned an exceptional use of cash. A total of 5,252 reports using the indicator "cash" were received in 2019.
Several cash related indicators can be used in one report. The most commonly used indicators related to withdrawals and deposits of cash.
FIU Finland also receives information on movements of cash from the Customs, as they collect information on persons carrying cash. According to the information received from the Customs, n 2019, about 320 people were found to have carried more than 10,000 euros worth of cash at one time on about 470 different journeys either from Finland to abroad or from abroad to Finland.
Money laundering involving virtual currencies has become far more common, especially in drug trafficking, but also in the field of conventional crime, such as cyber fraud, love scams and swindles that exploit the names of public figures. The number of offences involving virtual currencies reported to the police has been in a steep and steady rise over the past decade. Moreover, cases relating to virtual currencies typically have strong international connections.
Changes in detected offences
Information on detected cases is provided to various authorities in order to start a criminal investigation, to support an ongoing criminal investigation or for prevention and detection of crimes.
In 2019, the information disclosed to other authorities for new and open criminal investigations contained 93 different titles of offences. The most common title was aggravated fraud, which occurred 143 times. The number of aggravated fraud cases doubled from 2018. The number of aggravated narcotics offences increased second most in 2019, namely from ten to forty.
Foreign nationals in suspicious transaction reports
Due to the ever-increasing number of reports, the number of persons subject to reports has also continued to rise. Suspicious transaction reports made in 2019 concerned tens of thousands of new individuals and companies. Nationalities are not systematically included in the reports. 45% of the persons in the reports were not marked with nationality, whereas 30% were marked with Finnish nationality and the remaining 25%, with some foreign nationality was marked.
After a few years of steady period (2016-2018), changes have taken place in the most common nationalities. Turkey, Romania, Russia, Iraq and Estonia were, in this order, the most entered nationalities on the money laundering file in 2019. More Russian nationals appeared in the reports than ever before. The number of Romanian and especially Turkish nationals multiplied from 2018 to 2019 (Romania: 1,125 → 2,275; Turkey: 637 → 2,253).