Turkish AML/CTF supervisor
Turkish Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK)
The Turkish Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) is a financial intelligence agency under the Ministry of Finance and Treasury.
MASAK's primary role is to undertake analysis and sector specific studies on developments in the field of money laundering and strategies for preventing and exposing money laundering offences. MASAK is also involved with formulating policies, conducting investigations and audits and reporting on the findings of these investigations.
How to comply with AML/CTF regulations in Turkey
The goal of responding to MASAK's requirements is to ensure that Turkey's legal system complies with international standards. The following are included in the requirements of the compliance program:
- Onboarding principles
- Due diligence principles for customers
- Suspicious transaction reporting procedures
- Documentation principles for keeping and submitting information
- The necessity of independent audits
- Notification to the Custom's administration
The law requires designated parties, especially financial companies, to perform due diligence on customers with whom they do business, to disclose transactions suspected of involving money laundering or terrorism financing to MASAK, and to maintain and provide pertinent information and records upon request.
Turkish AML/CTF reporting obligations
Reporting suspicious transactions to MASAK is a compliance requirement
- MASAK must be notified of any suspicious transactions, regardless of their value.
- The term "transaction" does not have to refer to a single transaction and can refer to multiple transactions.
- When multiple suspicious transactions are evaluated together, a single Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) form must be filled out.
- Any "information," "suspicion," or "reasonable ground to suspect" is sufficient for reporting a suspicious transaction.
- The "compliance officer" appointed by the Board of Directors is responsible for reporting suspicious transactions to MASAK.
- Suspicious transactions must be reported to MASAK within ten working days of the suspicion arising, or immediately in cases where any delay would be inconvenient. This takes into account the time spent on internal reporting.
- Finding any "information" about transactions and customers related to STRs in the press or other similar sources is clearly a situation that necessitates the submission of a STR.
- Except for examiners assigned to supervision of obligations and courts during the judicial process, suspicious transaction reporting and relevant internal reports shall not be explained to anyone, including the parties to the transaction. Those who break this rule face a sentence of imprisonment ranging from one to three years, as well as a fine of up to $5,000.
- When conducting transactions, MASAK shall not be mentioned as a reference to avoid misleading customers because MASAK does not have the authority or function to approve or cancel transactions under applicable legislation.