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AfricaMoney | August 22, 2017

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No round-tripping in Mauritius

No round-tripping in Mauritius, FSC

Mauritius is not the place for money laundering activities, says the Chairman of the Financial Services Commission Marc Hein, as reported by the Economic Times of India.  He says that Mauritius has rather the strictest jurisdiction in the world to check round-tripping of funds and all investment headed towards India needs to go through a stringent due diligence process.

“As long as India investments are concerned, the regulatory requirements are much more complicated. If someone comes and says we want to invest in India, then we have very stringent licensing conditions,” the country’s integrated financial services regulator FSC Chairman Marc Hein

“Besides, the tax residency certificates that we give, that need to be renewed every year and at the time of every renewal, they need to satisfy the FSC and the MRA (Mauritius Revenue Authority),” the Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman told PTI here.

“The checks are there to ensure that the licensees continue to meet the special India licensing conditions,” said Hein, who was on a visit to India along with other officials and industry leaders from the Indian Ocean island nation.

The issue of Mauritius allegedly being a safe haven for money laundering activities has been a matter of intense debate over the past few years. However, Mauritius on its part asserts that it is one of the most cooperative jurisdictions as far as India is concerned and it has always been very responsive to any concerns from Indian side.

“From Mauritius side, we have done a lot. The Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) is ready to be signed, and as our leaders have said we have gone extra mile.

“During the board meetings of FSC, I’ve not seen any single instance when there have been any complaint with regard to Mauritius not having provided any information sought by Indian institutions.

“There have been no cases of Mauritius being accused of adopting delaying tactics or not providing the information demanded by India. There have been absolutely no complaints about Mauritius not supplying the information that India has asked for,” Hein said.

Global banking major Standard Chartered Bank’s Mauritius unit CEO Sridhar Nagarajan, who was part of Mauritius delegation to India, also said the authorities in the island nation have been very prompt in replying to requests from India.

Nagarajan, who is also vice chairman of Mauritius Bankers Association, said: “From a banker’s point of view, I can tell you there have been days when we have been asked to provide full banking information in 10-12 cases.

“There have been a large number of cases where information has been sought from India and we have always responded. In fact, India should think on those lines that Mauritius has been very responsive to the requests made to it,” Nagarajan said.

“Our due diligence process is such that we go till the ultimate beneficial owner of the funds and we provide information of the final beneficial owner of the funds being invested in India. We peel the layers of the entity that register with us or do banking transactions through us.

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Source: The Economic Times, India

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