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AfricaMoney | August 20, 2017

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Mauritius central bank creates special cell to counter financial crime

Mauritius central bank creates special cell to counter financial crime

BoM has set up a Market Intelligence Cell to track financial crimes in accordance with the Economic and Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2013.

Fraudsters beware! The Bank of Mauritius (BOM) has introduced a special cell to crackdown on financial crimes which pose the risk of destabilizing the local financial sector.

The Market Intelligence Cell (MI Cell) has been established by the central bank of Mauritius under the Economic and Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 2013to enable authorities tofight financial crimes in all forms.

The public at large have been invited to work together with the Bank as they can help in the fight against financial crimes by sharing any suspicious information with the MI Cell.

All information communicated by members of the public will remain private and confidential, together with the identity of the informant.

The MI Cell and other relevant authorities in Mauritius will work together to collect information on financial frauds or any other new form of fraudulent schemes which may affect the stability of the financial sector.

Their work will be facilitated by a mechanism for the collection of data on the market and information with sensitive character.

The multiple financial fraudswhich have broken since the beginning of 2013 compelled regulating authorities to review and revamp operations related to the detection of and fight against all forms of financial crime, according to a statement by Governor Rundheersing Bheenickin BOM’s2012-13 annual report.

Bank authorities had to step in to manage the crisis created by Ponzi Schemes and a bank counter was set up to listen to victims and redress their complaints.

At the end of June 2013, the total amount of which victims were collectively defrauded was estimated at Rs835 million. The six companies involved in these frauds claimed 2,290 victims in all.

To remedy this situation, the island economy leveraged its strong ties with India, and the central bank of Mauritiusturned to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to see how local banking authorities can best fight financial crimes.

In this context, two proposals were made by the RBI – the implementation of a Market Intelligence Cell and to strengthen the regulators’ work – and both are being implemented by the island economy to crackdown on financial crime.

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