Tinkering Job

August 24, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s financial intelligence unit is looking to raise the threshold on money transactions that have to be reported to authorities, following complaints from market players, a top official said Thursday. Anti-money laundering activities, comes under the supervision of the country’s finance ministry.

South Asian securities regulators from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are currently meeting in Colombo to deliberate issues of mutual importance.

The two-day conference the first of its kind in the region ends on Thursday. The unit was set up this year to track foreign exchange dealings in excess of 5,000 dollars, to ensure ill gotten wealth was not laundered in the country’s financial system.

Under the Financial Transactions Reporting Law, banks, finance companies, leasing companies, casinos, accountants, auditors and lawyers are mandated to report any transactions that appear to be 5,000 dollars and above to the authorities.

“There are some concerns that the 5,000 dollar limit is too low, so we are looking at raising the limit to about 10,000 dollars,” the unit’s new Chief Executive George Fernando told participants at the South Asian