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Mauritius exits FATF grey list

By Nicolas Richard

Mauritius has been taken off from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list of the countries which were subject to increased monitoring. At its plenary meeting of 21 October 2021 FATF welcomed the significant progress which Mauritius made in improving its AML/CFT regime by strengthening its effectiveness and by addressing related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified back in February 2020.

Mauritius has demonstrated an unflinching commitment to prioritise and fully implement the FATF Action Plan whilst ensuring the sustainability and effectiveness of the measures undertaken.

Mauritius is committed to continue working with the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLAG) to further improve its AML/CFT system.

The Government of Mauritius has, through the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance reiterated its strong commitment to sustain AML/CFT reforms and the fight against money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing. AML/CFT will continue to feature high on the Government’s agenda so as to protect the integrity of its financial system including the global business sector.

Mauritius is now compliant or largely compliant in 39 out of the 40 FATF Recommendations on technical compliance, with only recommendation 15 (New Technologies) rated as partially compliant.

The delisting of Mauritius from the FATF grey list will undoubtedly help in the delisting of Mauritius from the EU “black list”. It is apposite to note that in May 2020, the EU included Mauritius along with 11 other countries on its revised list of high-risk countries having strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT framework. The EU black list became applicable on 1 October 2020. The EU blacklisting was a direct consequence of Mauritius being placed on the FATF grey list.

The whitelisting of Mauritius will certainly reinforce the position of the country as a jurisdiction that fully adheres to the best international practices in terms of AML/CFT and transparency thereby reinforcing its position as a financial hub for the African continent.