The financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2002
Pursuing its will to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and to promote a clean and reputable financial centre, the Government of Mauritius introduced a series of legislation in early 2002, namely the Prevention of Corruption Act, The prevention of Terrorism Act and the Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act under which the Financial Intelligence Unit was set up.
Financial intelligence Unit (FM)
In essence, the FIU is a specialised organisation that receives, analyses, assess and disseminates financial intelligence on suspected money laundering and terrorist activity financing. Such organisations form an important element of a modern Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework and they are proliferating worldwide.
Two major factors support the creation of FIUs. First, the objective of financial investigations is to discover the financial trail left by criminals. This calls for specialised skills in analysing accounts of financial institutions, documents, corporate registries, insurance contracts and a full range of financial and business records. Secondly, information reporting and recordkeeping requirements generate substantial financial data which need to be synthesized and made useful to competent authorities. This involves the receipt, grading and storing of information prior to analysis and dissemination to law enforcement agencies, regulators and overseas FIUs or other agencies engaged in AML/CFT. The products of FIUs are therefore intelligence packages and disclosures for use by regulators, investigators or prosecutors. The need for FIUs was given a wider recognition on 26 June, 2003 when the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) revised its 40+8 Recommendations. It is now clearly stated that "Countries should establish a FIU that serves as a national centre for receiving and, as permitted, requesting, analysing and disseminating of STRs and other information regarding potential money laundering or terrorist financing. The FIU should have access, directly or indirectly, on a timely basis to the financial, administrative and law enforcement information that it requires to properly undertake its functions, including the analysis of STRs."
The FIU became fully operational in November, 2002 and in January, 2003 it issued a Suspicious Transactions Reporting Form and Guidance Notes for reporting institutions. Following an assessment of our AML/CFT framework by the World Bank / IMF in early 2003, certain amendments were made to existing legislation, namely Financial Regulations Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Regulations 2003 and Anti-Money Laundering (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2003. All these contributed significantly to improve the operational effectiveness and efficiency of the FIU and brought our legislation with internationally accepted standards.
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