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WASHINGTON-Following 9-11, financial institutions have bolstered efforts to detect money laundering and terrorist financing. to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s By the Numbers, Suspicious Activity Reports have greatly increased. Between April 1996 and December 2003, nearly 1.3 million SARS were filed. Over 36,000 of those were from institutions regulated by NCUA. SAR filings jumped 82% from 1996 to 2003, FinCEN reported. The Bank Secrecy Act/ Structuring/ Money Laundering category continued to lead the description of the SARs filed. Terrorist financing was added in July 2003 and through the second half of last year, 495 SAR were filed with that characterization. Identity theft was added at the same time for which 3,165 SARS were filed in the latter half of 2003. Last year, 13,276 SARs were filed for internal suspicious activities on employees (12,337), officers (730), or directors (209). See the chart below to evaluate where credit unions are in SAR filings.

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