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AfricaMoney | October 19, 2017

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Setting up of a Financial Crime Commission to combat Financial Fraud and Corruption

Setting up of a Financial Crime Commission to combat Financial Fraud and Corruption

The Prime Minister highlighted that Financial Crime Commission will be set up as an umbrella organization to oversee the operations of a revised and enhanced ICAC model, the FIU and Asset Recovery Unit, the enforcement units of the Financial Services Commission and the Financial Reporting Council relating to securities, insurance and financial reporting fraud within a newly set up Anti Fraud Unit.(Image: business mega)

As, one of the prime objectives of the new government is to relentlessly combat fraud, corruption and financial crime, to this effect, a Financial Crime Commission will be set up to act as an apex body to oversee the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the enforcement department of the Financial Services Commission.

The Prime Minister stated that as per the Government Programme 2015-2019 in the National Assembly on February 24, 2015 that the Government has a mandate for change and will relentlessly fight fraud, corruption and financial crime.

However, a Financial Crime Commission will be set up to act as an apex body to oversee the ICAC, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the enforcement department of the Financial Services Commission.

Sir Anerood Jugnauth further underlined that Government will leave no stone unturned to eradicate fraud, corruption, malpractices and irregularities in all aspects of public life and restore our national values.

To this end, a new Declaration of Assets Act for member of parliament (MP) and high ranking public officers and a Financing of Political Parties Act will be enacted. A new Code of Conduct will be introduced for all MPs and public officers.

Consequently, the Minister of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms, Sudarshan Bhadain and the Attorney General, Ravi Yerrigadoo, are currently on mission in London for discussions with the following institutions: Serious Fraud Office; Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Financial Conduct Authority; and National Crime Agency in regards to the assistance in the setting up of the Financial Crime Commission.

Moreover, as an immediate measure, pending the setting up of the Financial Crime Commission, an amendment will be brought to the Asset Recovery Act and the Asset Recovery Unit will be merged with the Financial Intelligence Unit

Furthermore, the Prime Minister highlighted that Financial Crime Commission will be set up as an umbrella organization to oversee the operations of a revised and enhanced ICAC model, the FIU and Asset Recovery Unit, the enforcement units of the Financial Services Commission and the Financial Reporting Council relating to securities, insurance and financial reporting fraud within a newly set up Anti Fraud Unit.

He added also that this will bring harmonization in the structure for fight against financial crime in Mauritius and will ensure better coordination amongst existing institutions.

Finally, this initiative will mitigate the risks of fraudsters exploiting loopholes in the functioning of institutions, which may have led to the recent cases of Ponzi schemes where many innocent but gullible persons have lost their hard-earned money.

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