Key takeaways from Finanspolisen's 2023 Report
11 Apr 2024

In 2023, Finanspolisen (Sweden's Financial Intelligence Unit / Police) received 56,136 suspicious activity reports, marking a 24% increase compared to the previous year. This surge in reports reflects a long-term trend where the number of reports has been steadily rising over time.

However, the rising number of reports doesn't necessarily indicate a proportional increase in the extent of money laundering crimes. Finanspolisen's assessment attributes this rise to various factors, including improved capabilities among financial entities to detect and halt suspicious transactions or behaviors. The expansion of reporting obligations to encompass more industries has also contributed to the increase.

Moreover, the enforcement of a new chapter in the anti-money laundering law in 2023, facilitating collaboration among law enforcement agencies, regulatory authorities, and financial institutions, has also played a role. Here are some key takeaways from Finanspolisen's Report on 2023:


1. Increased reporting by businesses, mainly within accounting services.

The number of businesses and organizations reporting to Finanspolisen rose to 363 in 2023 from 322 in 2022. Notably, in the category of accounting or auditing services, the number of reporting entities doubled.


2. Higher success rate in asset seizures

A higher proportion of decisions on asset freezes transitioned into actual asset seizures. In total for 2023, approximately 10 % of the total number of decisions on disposal bans were lifted. The corresponding share in 2022 was ca 16 %.


3. Stronger focus on crypto exchanges

Recognizing the role of illegal cryptocurrency exchanges in facilitating money laundering, Finanspolisen emphasizes the need for heightened vigilance from legislators, authorities, and financial entities. Illegal cryptocurrency exchanges not only enable money laundering but also play a role in fraud and financing large-scale drug trafficking.


4. Successful collaboration between stakeholders has amplified the prevention of illegal money flows.

Thanks to new legislation, Finansinspektionen (the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority), law enforcement agencies, and financial institutions have collaborated effectively in combating money laundering. Joint analysis with financial institutions has led to the detection and prevention of various forms of illegal money flows.


5. Strengthened international cooperation

Finanspolisen prioritized cooperation with Europol and Empact in 2023. This collaboration involved developing operational plans to tackle criminal economy, money laundering, and asset recovery. Finanspolisen also contributed to international efforts against fraud and money mules, recognizing their significance in organized crime networks globally.

Additionally, Finanspolisen's involvement in selected working groups within FATF (Financial Action Task Force) and monitoring of plenary meetings aim to track the updates on recommendations for combating money laundering and terrorist financing at the international level.


In conclusion, despite the challenges posed by evolving criminal tactics, the report highlights significant progress and emphasizes the need for continued vigilance and collaboration to safeguard financial systems from illicit activities.


The report:


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