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Seychelles has upgraded and implemented 5 FATF recommendations to strengthen anti-money laundering measures and tackle terrorist financing and money laundering.
Seychelles Ministry of Finance, National Planning, and Trade released a press release on Wednesday, April 12th noting that five FATF recommendations have been made to address.
Technical compliance issues after a delegation attended the 45th meeting of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) Task Force of senior officials held in Tanzania on March 26-31.
Whilst addressing the five deficiencies identified in September 2018, a progress report has been submitted regarding Seychelles’ compliance with recommendations 5, 19, 25, 28, and 34. Press release disclosed, “Seychelles defended its third re-rating request report to address five deficiencies identified within the Second Mutual Evaluation Report adopted in September 2018.”
These recommendations pertain to crimes involving terrorist financing, countries with a high risk of terrorist funding, regulating and supervising designated non-financial businesses or professions, and providing guidance and feedback. To the update, Seychelles Secretary of State Patrick Payet, chairman of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Committee, added, “The upgrade has been a national effort, working closely with all stakeholders to ensure the necessary legislations were enacted on time for submission of our re-rating request.”
According to ESAAMLG, Seychelles is in full compliance or largely compliant with 34 of the 40 technical compliance shortcomings, has addressed 5, 19, 25, 28, and 34, and will continue to improve the remaining six shortcomings of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations for discussion at the next ESAAMLG meeting in April 2024. “There are still further works to be done, and the committee remains committed to addressing the other shortcomings,” Payet added to the press release.
As the global watchdog for illegal financial activities and terrorist financing, the FATF is charged with setting international standards to deter money laundering, fraud, and terrorist financing. Additionally, ESAAMLG’s secretariat informed delegates about preparations for the third mutual evaluation round in June 2025.
There will be a discussion regarding the sequence of countries during the September 2023 meeting, and it must be completed within six years, with a possible extension of seven years under justified circumstances.
The Seychelles delegation took advantage of the task force discussion to build on existing bilateral and multilateral relationships with external partners and counterparts, thereby enhancing the country’s efforts to combat illicit financial flows and terrorist financing globally. A delegation from Seychelles also participated in subcommittee meetings.
Debra Port-Louis, deputy director of the Seychelles Financial Intelligence Unit, spoke at the ESAAMLG Financial Intelligence Unit forum about the island nation’s assessment of the risk associated with virtual assets and service providers.
During the presentation, Samanta Esparon, a Central Bank official, discussed the de-risking monitoring project for which Seychelles is expected to host a working group in June, and May-Paule Rabat, an Anti-Corruption Commission expert, provided an overview of two member countries’ progress.
Following mutual evaluations and requests for re-ratings, the review groups evaluate the progress made by member countries in meeting their reporting obligations. ESAAMLG’s Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee will be co-chaired by Mauritius and Seychelles.