Mauritius Strengthens Its Anti-Money Laundering in 2021

Mauritius Strengthens Its Anti-Money Laundering/ Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/ CFT) Framework:

On February 20, 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) identified Mauritius as a jurisdiction with strategic shortcomings against money laundering and added the country to the list of the most followed jurisdictions. According to the EU (European Union), Mauritius also has strategic shortcomings with AML / CFT, in line with Article 9 of the 4th EU Money Laundering Directive, and has added Mauritius to the list of high-risk third countries.

 In response, the Mauritius parliament passed the 2020 law on money laundering and terrorist financing (various provisions). The purpose of the law is to introduce new changes to financial services to comply with the recommended changes. FATF international standards and best practices.

 This law amends 19 regulations to strengthen existing legal provisions to continue the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Here are the points regulated by law.

1. Beneficiary information

A legal obligation may be accepted by law if applicants fail to provide information to their respective registrars during the establishment or registration of companies, partnerships, and foundations, beneficial owners, during the establishment or registration of such institutions.

 Businesses must now provide basic and proprietary information to the appropriate authority (a government agency responsible for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, including a detective-on-demand agency).

 FATF has determined that it is impossible for competent authorities to access the exact details of fundamental and beneficial ownership. The new measure aims to give authorities immediate access to up-to-date information on the fixed sector.

2. Supervisors of banking institutions and non-banking financial institutions

By law, supervisors of banking institutions, but also non-banking institutions, are authorized to carry out on-site inspections and investigations. During inspections, supervisors should consider the following factors:

Risks and policies for money laundering

The risk of money laundering / terrorist financing in the country

Internal controls and procedures associated with a licensee

The characteristics of a licensee and the degree of discretion that the licensee allows under the risk-based approach of the regulators

Global corporate sector regulators in Mauritius maintain risk-based oversight, but FATF has identified some shortcomings. The new law requires regulators to review the licensee’s assessment of the risk profile of money laundering or terrorist financing in the event of major events or developments in the management and administration of licensees.

3. Sanctions

The law with reference to various regulations, such as the Banking Act of 2004, the Financial Information and Money Laundering Act of 2002 (FMLA), and the Prevention of Corruption Act of 2002 (POCA), provides for new high fines for the non-compliance with ABC / CFT and offenses as follows:

If a financial institution of the BOM (Bank of Mauritius) does not comply with the guidelines, instructions, or instructions of the BOM regarding CDD (client search) measures and the registration of CDD documents, a fine of 10 million applied. BUT.

FMLA has also been amended to include a new obligation for any member of any profession or related profession to provide information to a regulatory body. If such a member is found guilty of a breach of duty, he must pay a fine of 1 million MUR and five years imprisonment or a fine of up to 10 million MUR. The little.

The above amendments have been made by the Mauritian authorities to meet Mauritius’ strong commitment to the FATF recommendations and to improve the country’s AML / CFT regime.

Melito Systems Ltd, a DTS Corporation group in Japan, has experience in implementing money laundering software and a proven track record in providing innovative and advanced AML / CFT solutions to banks and financial institutions worldwide.

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