182 Trinidadians suspected of terrorist activity

182 Trinidadians suspected of terrorist activity

isis_trinidadians.jpg
This YouTube video grab shows an ISIS terrorist identified as Abu Abdurahman al-Trinidadi (L), an apparent reference to his Trinidadian heritage, along with another Trinidadian identified locally as Shazam Mohammed

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — There are 182 Trinidad and Tobago nationals suspected of being involved in terrorist activities, according to a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) report.

This was revealed on Thursday by minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young during the post cabinet briefing, the Trinidad Express reported.

Young said that, when parliament resumes on January 6, the minister of finance will disclose the 2015-2016 report from the FIU, and outline several issues, including financing of terrorism, money laundering, private members club and financial institutions.

He said the FIU, which is an independent international monitoring body, reported that Trinidad and Tobago has received a total of 739 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) and suspicious activity report (SARs), a 21.3 percent increase from last year’s report.

Young noted that, of the 739 suspicious transaction reports and suspicious activity reports received, 670 were related to suspected money laundering while 69 were related to suspected financing of terrorism.

“For the review period the FIU completed an analysis of 533 STRs and SARs of which 490 were related to suspected money laundering activities and 43 related to the financing of terrorism. The analysis of these STRs and SARs generated 209 intelligence reports of which 170 related to suspected money laundering and 31 related to financing of terrorism. Of the 209 intelligence reports which were generated 150 were sent to local law enforcement agencies, 59 were spontaneous disclosures which were disseminated to foreign law enforcement agencies, foreign FIUs and local competent authorities,” Young said.

Young said that the total monetary value of the 739 suspicious transaction reports submitted to the FIU was TT$805.5 million (US$119 million) for 2016, a 127 percent increase over 2015.

In relation to financing of terrorism, Young said it was a global concern that had significantly increased.

He said: “The global landscape with respect to terrorism and the financing of terrorism continues to evolve with a phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters whose local impact was evident in a significant increase of 331.3 percent in suspicious transaction reports. So what we found between the period last year to this year’s period, we’ve had an increase in what appears to be the financing in foreign terrorism fighters of over 331 per cent. So it’s increased from 16 into 2015 to 69 in 2016, and at the end of the 2016 reporting period FIUs intelligence has revealed 182 citizens of Trinidad and Tobago being suspected of being involved in terrorist activities.

“So for the period of 2016 what the FIU has picked up in their STRs and SARs is that approximately 182 Trinidad and Tobago citizens may be involved we suspect they are involved in the financing of terrorist activities.”

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