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How to report potential terrorist-related activity

General Instructions for Completing the SAR Form

All of the SAR forms now permit the filer to report terrorist financing by checking a box in the suspicious activity section of the SAR. Filers should then complete the most important section of the SAR, the Narrative, by describing the suspicious transaction as completely as possible, including the following information, if applicable: any correspondent bank name/account information; names/locations of business entities; names of cities, countries and foreign financial institutions linked to the transaction, especially if funds transfer activity is involved; and account numbers and beneficiary names.

Specific Instructions for a Particular Industry

  • Depository institutions reporting potential terrorist-related activity on Form TD F 90-22.47 are requested to check the ?Terrorist financing? box in Part III, item 35(t) of the form. However, in some situations, the suspicious activity may also involve money laundering or some other suspicious activity. Therefore, the institution should also check the additional appropriate box(es) in item 35.
  • Casinos and card clubs reporting potential terrorist-related activity on FinCEN Form 102 (SAR-C) are requested to check item 26(p) in Part II. If the suspicious activity also involves money laundering, or some other suspicious activity, the appropriate line in item 26 should also be checked.
  • MSBs reporting potential terrorist-related activity on Form TD F 90-22.56 should check Box 28(c) (Terrorist financing) on Part II, Line 28. If the suspicious activity also involves money laundering or structuring, Box 28(a) and/or (b) should also be checked.
  • Securities and futures industry entities reporting potential terrorist-related activity on FinCEN Form 101 (SAR-SF) are requested to check item 30(q) in Part II. If the suspicious activity also involves money laundering, or some other suspicious activity, the appropriate additional line in item 30 should also be checked.

Regardless of which form is used, all filers should ensure that the Narrative includes as much detail as possible regarding the potential terrorist-related or other suspicious activities. Remember: do not include supporting documentation with the SAR. The supporting information must be maintained for five years with the filer?s copy of the filed SAR.

Please also remember that a SAR should not be filed because of a person?s ethnicity, nor should it be filed solely because a person appears to have the same name as individuals identified by the media as terrorists.

Transactions to, from, or conducted by persons with possible affiliations with jurisdictions associated with terrorist activity should not be the only factor that prompts the filing of a SAR. However, this information should prompt additional scrutiny of such transactions and then should be considered in conjunction with other relevant information in deciding whether a SAR is warranted, as set forth in 31 CFR 103.18 and the regulations prescribed by the bank regulatory agencies, such as a lack of any apparent legal or business purpose to a transaction or series of transactions. Resources that should be consulted about such jurisdictions include: the State Department?s list of State sponsors of terrorism; the Treasury Department?s OFAC?s lists of foreign terrorists; and FATF?s list of non-cooperative countries and territories (NCCTs).

Excerpted from SAR Activity Review Issue 6, page 53

First published on 11/01/2003

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