Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Framework
Legislative framework to fight Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism
Mauritius adheres to international initiatives to combat Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism. Various legislations were enacted and include:
- The Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2002 (FIAMLA)
- The Prevention of Corruption Act 2002
- The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002
The Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism Act 2003 provides for the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism to have force of law in Mauritius.
As mandated under Section 7(1)(a) of the Financial Services Act 2007 and Section 18(1)(a) of the Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2002, the FSC issued in March 2012 the new FSC Code on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, which is a single comprehensive document applicable to all its licensees.
Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism through effective exchange of information
The FSC has the power to exchange information with public sector agencies, international organisations, foreign supervisory institutions or law enforcement agencies.
In addition, several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed between the FSC and regulatory bodies (including foreign supervisory bodies) to address the framework for mutual assistance and exchange of information. The main objectives of the MOUs are inter alia to:
- consolidate supervision of cross-border operations of financial institutions;
- define mechanisms to share information in accordance with international standards; and
- reinforce collaboration amongst institutions in the fight against crime, Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.
In particular, the FSC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which describes the ways in which both institutions will cooperate in preventing Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism. The FSC, in compliance with Section 22 of the Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2002, forwards any information on the possibility of a money laundering offence or suspicious transaction to the FIU.
In addition, pursuant to the provisions of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal and Related Matters Act 2003, a foreign authority may, in relation to a serious offence, make a request to the Attorney General for assistance in any judicial proceedings carried in their jurisdiction state.
Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP)
The FSC voluntarily requested Financial Sector Assessment Programme(FSAP) exercises to be conducted by the International Monetary Fund-World Bank in 2003 and 2007. The main objectives of these exercises were to assess the Mauritian financial sector's strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities to macroeconomic shocks, as well as the contribution of the financial services to economic growth.
The AML/CFT framework based on the Forty Recommendations 2003 and the Nine Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing 2001 of the FATF was also assessed.. The FSAP team recognised that significant steps have been taken by Mauritian authorities in recent years to enhance the AML/CFT framework and that the Mauritian authorities are fully committed to fight Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.
The FSC constantly reviews its AML/CFT regulatory framework to meet new standards as set out by other international organisations such as the International Organisation of Securities Commission (IOSCO) and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). The FSC also reviewed its Risk-Based Supervision Framework to ensure compliance of licensees with AML/CFT legislation.
Mauritius is also an active member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), an associate member of FATF and is committed to implementing the FATF recommendations regionally.
United Nations Security Council measures
As part of its supervisory framework to combat Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, the FSC regularly communicates to its licensees updates issued by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the:
- Sanctions list of individuals, entities, groups and undertakings associated with the Taliban in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan established pursuant to Resolution 1988 (2011) (the "1988 List"); and
- Sanctions list of individuals, entities, groups and undertakings associated with the Al Qaida Organisation (the "Al-Qaida Sanctions List") as maintained by the Security Council Committee established pursuant to UN resolutions 1267(1999) and 1989(2011).
Licensees are required to verify whether they maintain any accounts or otherwise hold any fund, other financial assets, economic benefits and economic resources for individuals or entities as reported by the UNSC. Licensees are thus required to take necessary actions and report to the FSC any link found with the reported persons/entities in accordance with the UNSC Resolution United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs).
The FSC ensures, as part of its surveillance mechanism, that there is proper dissemination of investor alerts and warnings from international bodies such as IOSCO and other regulatory bodies to relevant stakeholders. These investor alerts and warnings typically refer to entities which are not authorised to provide investment services from the relevant jurisdiction.