Mauritius, a safe haven monitored by the Financial Action Task Force

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), also known by its French name Groupe d’action financière is an intergovernmental organization that was founded in 1989. It was established to implement international standards, to develop and promote policies at national and international levels and to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.  On the 21st of February 2020, Mauritius was placed on the institution’s “Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring” list. Following this, the FATF has recognized that the island has taken several measures to improve the transparency of legal persons by amending the legal framework to require them to disclose beneficial ownership information and improve the processes for identifying and confiscating proceeds of crimes.

Security measures undertaken by Mauritius

Throughout the years, Mauritius has made significant efforts to increase the efficiency level of its AntiMoney Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) system. Some of these are:

  • completing its National Risk Assessment,
  • enhancing domestic coordination and international cooperation,
  • developing and implementing an AML/CFT risk-based supervision framework for financial institutions,
  • the implementation of the United Nations targeted financial sanctions related to terrorism and proliferation.

Mauritius has been fully committed the implementation of its Action Plan. As the time of writing, it has been able to address 53 out of the 58 Recommended Actions identified in the Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) to improve the efficiency level of its AML/CFT system.

While the island is in its ‘increased monitoring’ phase, the FSC is continuously and actively working with the government, industry stakeholders and the FATF to address the remaining action items. It is committed to resolve these issues swiftly within or before the agreed timelines. While the FATF   does not call for the application of enhanced due diligence to be applied to jurisdictions such as Mauritius, even if they are placed on the “Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring” list, it encourages its members to take into account the information presented on that jurisdiction in their risk analysis.

Should you be worried about the FATF’s “Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring” list?

After the publication of the list by the Financial Action Task Force, there have been some apprehensions amongst market participant regarding whether the inclusion of Mauritius would have any repercussions. However, they have no reason to worry since the country has already addressed the necessary issues. Moreover, the FSC is prioritizing its work to address all the action points recommended for the Global Business sector ahead of the set timeline. This work is focused on demonstrating the implementation of risk-based supervision of the global business sector by way of a comprehensive onsite inspection schedule and taking enforcement action against non-compliance.

As such, Mauritius remains completely committed to uphold the integrity of the domestic and international financial system. If you wish to have more information on the finance sector of Mauritius or the benefits of establishing a company in the country, feel free to contact us. Our team is available to answer your questions and to help you establish, manage and administer companies, trusts, foundations and funds according to your needs.

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