The First Letters in Financial Intelligence are SAR.

The first letters in financial intelligence are SAR.

Intelligence doesn’t just happen. It’s a process. Suspicious activity reports (SARs) form a fundamental component of the financial intelligence cycle.

If an activity is suspicious, it must be reported.

But, what is considered suspicious? When there are enough details or circumstantial evidence for a reasonable person to make a logical conclusion or rational assumption that the activity is out of place, it should be reported as suspicious.

Proof that a crime has occurred is not required.

Sure, SARs are a regulatory requirement. But they are more just a bureaucratic exercise. As integral part of the intelligence cycle, law enforcement investigators are the ultimate consumers of SARs. In their hands, suspicions can be investigated, crimes can be identified and prosecutions can be made.

What makes a good SAR?

1. Start with an impact statement explaining why the activity is considered suspicious.

2. Answer the who, what, where, when and how of the suspicious activity but particularly elaborate on why the activity is considered suspicious.

3. Conclude with a clear and concise summary.

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