Anomaly indicators and anomalous behaviour patterns and models are the instruments provided for by Legislative Decree 231/2007 in support of the detection of suspicious transactions.
Although the indicators and patterns play an important role in guiding the obliged entities when assessing transactions, they are to be deemed neither final nor compulsory.
As a matter of fact, it is not possible to define in the abstract all the particular cases likely to encompass the characteristics of a money laundering or terrorist financing suspicious transaction. At the same time, the mere occurrence of one or more anomalies listed in the indicators is not in itself sufficient reason to confirm the existence of reasonable grounds for suspicion, which must necessarily be based on a complete and thought-out assessment of all the information available to the obliged entities.
Anomaly indicators, as indicated in Article 6(4) letter e), consist of a non-exhaustive list of operative connotations, namely customer behaviour deemed to be anomalous and potentially characteristic of money laundering or financing of terrorism intentions.
These indicators reduce the margins of uncertainty linked with subjective assessments or with discretionary behaviour; in addition, they help to limit the burdens and contribute to the correct and uniform fulfilment of the reporting requirements for obliged entities.
The UIF is tasked with regularly issuing and updating anomaly indicators for the various categories of obliged entities.
Models and patterns of anomalous behaviour
The models and patterns that represent anomalous behaviour integrate anomaly indicators as an ancillary tool for reporting entities to use for identifying suspicious transactions; they are drawn up and communicated by the UIF, based on Article 6(7) letter b) of the decree.
An additional function of these models and patterns, which also forms part of the objectives for a more effective fulfilment of active cooperation obligations, is to provide general feedback to all obliged entities in relation to specific types of operation, in order to complete the return flows of the reports requiring no further action (Article 41).The models and patterns exemplify the recurrent and widespread practices and behaviour detected by the UIF with regard to certain sectors of operations or to specific phenomena relating to possible cases of money laundering or the financing of terrorism.
The patterns are drawn up based on the experience accumulated in the course of financial analysis and making use of the contribution of the competent investigative and supervisory authorities, and they correlate particular logical and time sequences of facts and behaviour that experience shows are traceable to certain criminal activities.