During the June 2021 Plenary held by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), it was determined that Mauritius has substantially completed its Action Plan of implementing the necessary anti-money laundering and combating terrorism financing (AML/CFT) reforms ahead of the agreed deadline and has been commended for the progress it has achieved. The FATF has therefore made the recommendation to proceed with an on-site visit to Mauritius.
The news comes as a relief, as this is a critical step in Mauritius exiting the list of ”Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring” a public document commonly referred to as the “Grey List”.
The on-site evaluation will be carried out by the FATF to review and verify the actions implemented thus far as well as ensuring that the necessary political commitments remain in force to maintain these reforms in future.
Following the assessment, a decision will be taken at the next Plenary scheduled for October 2021 on the delisting of Mauritius from the grey list.
The FATF’s decision to place Mauritius on the grey list in 2020, led to the European Union (EU) placing Mauritius on their list of Blacklisted jurisdictions. We anticipate that the EU will follow suit in the removal of Mauritius from their blacklist with the expected positive reviews from FATF after concluding their on-site evaluation.
It was in February 2020, where a number of strategic deficiencies were identified in the AML/CFT systems in Mauritius which resulted in the FATF determining that Mauritius would be monitored under the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) and subsequently placed on the grey list.
Mauritius immediately began putting measures in place to deal with its shortcomings and made a high-level commitment to implement the Action Plan with sustainable mechanisms to strengthen its AML/CFT system.
The FATF Africa Middle East Joint Group (AMEJG) monitored and reported on the progress of Mauritius’s efforts in implementing this Action Plan. In June 2021, the AMEJG concluded that Mauritius is on track with the measures it has set in place and made the recommendation to the ICRG for an on-site visit.
The positive measures demonstrated by Mauritius thus far, indicate a firm commitment by the Government to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the collective effort to combat money laundering and terrorism financing in our jurisdiction despite challenging circumstances experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These positive steps will ensure that Mauritius remains an attractive and safe jurisdiction among African nations.