Growing concerns over terrorist activity in T&T

Financial transactions are suspected to be linked to more than l00 persons participating in terrorist activity in Trinidad and Tobago over the past year.

This is according to the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (FIUTT) Susan Francois, who noted that suspicious transactions linked to terrorism, had tripled.

This was revealed in the FIUTT’s 2014/2015 report, which was laid in the Senate recently by the Minister of Finance Colm Imbert. It covered the period Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2015.

Francois said there were five financial transaction reports that were suspected to be linked to terrorist activity in the year 2013 / 2014, but that number increased significantly within the next 12 to 16 months.

The FIUTT director said while there were 16 reports “the number of suspects identified in these reports, suspected terrorists and their financiers, exceeded that amount.”

“The FIUTT has received and analyzed information from other local and international sources on over 100 persons who are suspected of participating in terrorist activities,” she said.

Francois said based on reports of suspected terrorist activity, the FIUTT contributed to the Egmont Group, ISIL project on Western Hemispheric Regional Financial Intelligence Profile on ISIL, foreign terrorist fighters.

She said once disclosure was authorized, the FIUTT “will share the regional profile and underacted global assessment with domestic government partners.”

Francois lamented the fact that terrorist groups were “bent on destabilizing communities, and causing loss of life; activities which are likely to have a global impact around the world, including the Caribbean.”

“The FIUTT will recommend that the authorities give serious consideration to instituting limits to the use of cash for the purchase of goods and services, as well as in the collection of revenue from government offices,” she said.

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