Cologne, Germany (dpa) – The number of suspected cases of money laundering and terrorist financing in Germany has significantly increased, the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said on Tuesday. The FIU said the number of reports of suspicious activities had increased by a third to 77,252 cases compared with 2018. Around 58 per cent of reports were passed on to law enforcement authorities after being assessed as valid. The head of the FIU, Christof Schulte, said the increase was likely due to companies and authorities being more sensitized to the importance of reporting dubious activities. Schulte said during his presentation of the FIU’s annual report that Germany had become more aware of the need to “combat crime where it hurts criminals most – which is money.” Almost all the reports were made by banks or other financial services providers. The goal is now to increase sensitization to the problem in the real-estate sector. The FIU is Germany’s anti-money laundering unit.