Sen. Edith E. Deleon Guerrero (D-Saipan) has introduced a bill that will require CNMI banks to give the Office of the Attorney General a copy of the Suspicious Activity Report that banks send to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCen, of the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Deleon Guerrero told Saipan Tribune Wednesday this is important not only as a broad suspicious financial activity monitoring tool for the CNMI but it also provides a positive business environment for investors considering the Commonwealth for their business portfolio growth and diversification.
Right now, banks in the CNMI are not required to send the Suspicious Activity Report, or SAR, to any law enforcement agency in the CNMI, yet the CNMI needs to be apprised of such suspicious acts, she said.
Under federal law, banks must submit the SAR to FinCen for suspected insider abuse involving any amount, violations aggregating $5,000 or more where a suspect can be identified, violations totaling $25,000 or more regardless of potential suspects, and transactions totaling $5,000 or more that involve potential money laundering or violate the Bank Secrecy Act. A provision in the Code of Federal Regulations also requires the bank to file the SAR with the appropriate federal law enforcement agencies and the Department of the Treasury.
Under Deleon Guerrero’s proposed bill, the Office of the Attorney General shall keep and maintain the SAR confidential in accordance with CFR and may use the SAR in performing its law enforcement duties.