Principles and Procedures for Suspicious Transaction Reporting
Legal Framework of STR
Definition of Suspicious Transaction
Those who are obliged to Report Suspicious Transac...
Confidentiality of Reporting
Protection of Obliged Parties
The Time Allowed For Reporting Suspicious Transact...
Suspicious Transactions Types
Submission of Suspicious Transaction Reports by Ha...
Submission of Suspicious Transaction Reports Elect...
Period in Suspicious Transaction Reporting
Sanctions to be Implemented in Violation of STR O...
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Principles and Procedures for Suspicious Transaction Reporting

Procedures Prior to Reporting

When obliged parties encounter a suspicious transaction, they shall carry out a research on the transaction to the extent of their authority and capability and report it to MASAK by filling in a Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Form pursuant to the information and the findings obtained.

In the reporting period, a more detailed research on the nature of the transaction or customer profile may be needed. The purpose of this research carried out to the extent of authorities and capabilities is to detect whether there are further findings that support suspicion. While making researches, manners and attitudes that lead customer to suspect that he/she will be reported should be avoided.

Obliged parties shall report the suspicious transactions they encounter by filling in STR form without seeking any monetary limit.

In cases where suspicious transaction reporting is necessary, the obliged parties shall also carry out the necessary customer identification procedures. The obligation of customer identification shall also be carried out as much as possible in cases where the suspicious transaction which is subject to reporting remained an attempt and could not been carried out.

In the event that new information and findings in relation to the reported transaction are obtained afterwards, another STR form shall be filled and sent to MASAK without any delay by stating that it is an additional report to the previous report.

A single STR form shall be filled in for transactions which raise suspicion when assessed by taking multiple transactions into consideration together.

Information and documents supporting the suspicion shall also be annexed to STR form.

Where there is serious suspicion or evidence that the asset subject to the transaction is related with laundering proceeds of crime and terrorist financing, the obliged parties shall avoid performing the requested transaction until they inform MASAK through suspicious transaction reporting form (by specifying in it that it is “very urgent”). In cases where abstaining from performing the requested transaction is impossible or avoiding it may hinder the efforts for identifying the beneficiaries of the suspected transaction, act of informing may also be done right after the transaction.

In addition to abovementioned issues which should be taken into account by all obliged parties in suspicious transaction reporting, the other issues to be considered in the reporting process are stated below in respect of obliged parties.

Reporting for Obliged Parties Required to Assign Compliance Officer

Obliged parties listed below shall be required to assign a compliance officer until 1/12/2008 at the latest according to the Provisional Article 1 of the Regulation on Program of Compliance with Obligations of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism [1] and, the obligation of suspicious transaction reporting for these obliged parties shall be carried out by the compliance officers. [2]
Banks (including Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, and development and investment banks)

- Capital Market Brokerage Houses,
- Insurance, reinsurance and pension companies,
- The General Directorate of Post, [3]
- Institutions other than banks who have the authority to issue bank cards or credit cards,
- Authorized exchange offices given in legislation on foreign exchange,
- Financing and factoring companies within the scope of the legislation on money lending,
- Financial leasing companies,
- Institutions furnishing settlement and custody services within the framework of capital markets legislation,

The obligation of suspicious transaction reporting for the branches, agencies, representatives, commercial proxies and similar affiliated units of the obliged parties is carried out through compliance officers.

The compliance officer shall have the duty and power to evaluate the information and findings obtained through researches carried out basing on power and capabilities regarding the possibly suspicious transactions which are sent to him/her or which he/she is informed ex-officio and to report MASAK the transactions which he/she considers to be suspicious.

Suspicious transaction reports to be conveyed to MASAK by obliged parties shall be carried out via compliance officers within the framework of following principles and procedures.

a) Where a suspicious transaction is encountered in an obliged party (including its branches, agencies, representatives, commercial proxies and similar affiliated units) to which a compliance officer is assigned, the transaction shall be reported to the compliance officer in accordance with the procedure to be determined by the obliged party.

The procedure of reporting to compliance officer within the obliged party may be determined independently. However verbal reporting cannot be established as a procedure. E-mails or software programs that enable internal reporting may be used in this scope. In so far, internal reporting rules shall be determined in written form and it shall be ensured that all the personnel are aware of them.
Where it is detected, in the transactions carried out through interactive applications such as internet banking, telephone banking, ATM, which enable the performance of non face-to-face transactions within or via obliged parties or during the monitoring and controlling activities, that a suspicious transaction has been carried out, the case shall be reported to compliance officer again in accordance with the procedure to be determined. In that case, the information and documents available within the obliged party are predicated on identification.

b) The compliance officer shall evaluate the suspicious transaction which has been reported to him/her or which he/she has been informed ex-officio by taking into account the other information and documents available within the obliged party and the relevant law, regulation, communiqué and other legislation, and decide on reporting or not reporting the transaction to MASAK as suspicious transaction depending on the evaluation result. The compliance officer may request, during the evaluation process, any information and document related with his/her scope of authority from any unit within the obliged party. In this scope, the units from whom information and document are requested shall be obliged to submit the requested information and documents and provide the necessary convenience for the compliance officer.

c) STR form shall be filled in after the compliance officer decides to report. STR form filled in, and signed by the compliance officer and additional evaluations, information and documents, if there is any, shall be sent to MASAK.

Reporting for Obliged Parties not Required to Assign Compliance Officer

Regarding the other obliged parties for whom it is not stipulated to assign compliance officers and who are listed in the Article 4 of the Regulation, suspicious transaction reporting shall be carried out personally by natural person who is an obliged party, by legal representatives of legal person who is an obliged party, by managers of unincorporated organizations or officials who are authorized by them.
Reporting shall be carried out by the branches, agencies, representatives, commercial proxies and similar affiliated units of those who are obliged to report suspicious transactions.

In the event that the units of the foreign persons and institutions which run activities in Turkey (such as branch, agency) are obliged parties, reporting of suspicious transactions shall be carried out by these units.

These obliged parties shall report suspicious transactions to MASAK through filling in a STRF. After the STR form is filled in, the form shall be signed by the person or officer carrying out or detecting the transaction and the person who has an authority to sign for the completion of this transaction, if there is any.

Filling in and Sending Suspicious Transaction Report Forms

Filling in Suspicious Transaction Report Forms

Obliged parties that will report suspicious transactions shall fill in the attached Suspicious Transaction Report Form (Annex 2). When the reported transaction is composed of more than one transaction or related to more than one account, it is possible to use the required fields of the form by multiplying them. MASAK is authorized to make amendments in the structure and contents of the STR Form.

The chapters (A) to (G) in the form shall be filled in considering the clarifications on the form.

The suspicious transaction types have been categorized under titles in chapter (H) of the form. The suspicious transaction type corresponding with the subject of the report shall be specified in this chapter.

First, the box in front of the option related to the group to which the reported transaction belongs shall be marked with an (X).Then, the number of suspicious transaction type given in the Annex 1 of the Communique shall be written down in the box left for the “Suspicious Transaction Type Number.”
For example, in case that a customer appearing not to aim gaining profit through transactions and care the risks and costs pertaining to his/her transactions gives unreasonable and remarkable orders mostly resulting in loss and carries out such transactions, the option of “Types Related to Capital Markets” shall be marked in chapter H of the STR Form. And the number which corresponds to the mentioned suspicious transaction type, which is “5.1”, shall be written down in the box for “Suspicious Transaction Type Number”.

It is possible that a transaction carried out within an obliged party is related to (general, sectoral or related with terrorist financing) types listed under different chapters. In that case more than one suspicious transaction type may be marked according to the relation of the transaction and the required explanations shall be made in the “EXPLANATIONS” part.

If a transaction which is suspected to be related to terrorist financing corresponds clearly to types listed under the chapter “Suspicious Transaction Types Related to Terrorist Financing”, then this type is marked while filling in the form. However, on the other hand, if the requested transaction is listed among general or sectoral suspicious transaction types, but it is particularly suspected to be related to terrorist financing, then the related suspicious transaction type shall be marked and this situation shall particularly be explained in the “EXPLANATION” part.

If the suspicious transaction does not correspond with any of the types listed in three chapters, then the suspicion and the information about the nature of the transaction shall be written in the “EXPLANATION” part.