Mauritius Financial Crime Country Dashboard 2023 by FCN

Today Financial Crime News is publishing a Financial Crime Country Dashboard for Mauritius. This December 2023 Dashboard includes, for example approx 150 data points which have been collected and are represented over 2 pages. It informs as to the nature of the financial crime threats, the main vulnerabilities, how resilient Mauritius is to these threats and its overall level of response, with important KRI and KPI data, all from publicly available sources albeit assessed and analysed for accuracy and relevance by FCN. For a copy of the Mauritius Dashboard see HERE: Mauritius Dashboard Dec 2023 PUBLD

Mauritius is often described as an island paradise, especially for tourists and is located in the southern hemisphere, in the south-eastern part of the Indian Ocean, and  is part of southern Africa.

FCN Country Risk Scores & Ratings: Mauritius is rated 16/100 and having a “Low” Threat level, with a “Moderate – High” Response at 37/100, resulting in an overall Risk of Low at 26/100, using the FCN Methodology. Whilst there is always room for improvement (for example on drugs and corruption) the rating is better for example than that for FATF Members, China (77), Turkey (80), China (77) & Russia (78), and is comparable to FATF Members such as Australia (26) and Denmark (26). In Africa it’s scores are much better than African Regional Giants, Nigeria (69), South Africa (63) & Kenya (63) and is comparable, though still favourable to the Seychelles (33). 

Threats:  According to the National ML/TF Risk Assessment 2019, the overall ML risk was rated “Medium High”. Main Domestic ML related internal and external threats for Drug Trafficking, Fraud, Illegal Bookmaking rated as “High”, High Value Larcenies, Tax Crimes as “Medium High” & Corruption as “Medium”. External Threats are are from Fraud (incl tax fraud) and corruption. TBML was rated as “Medium”. Terrorism Financing was rated at “Medium”. 

Organised Crime: According to the Organised Crime Index updated in 2023, “Mauritius has a pervasive heroin market. Traffickers mostly from South Africa, import large quantities of the drug from Madagascar and distribute it using planes, fast boats and commercial ships. The expansion of the trade is a major concern, as the police have reportedly failed to stop these activities in some areas and corruption within law enforcement has been alleged”.

Sector Vulnerabilities: Overall National Vulnerability to ML is “Medium High” due to a high vulnerability rating of “High” in the Gambling, Real Estate, Jewellery sectors, “Medium-High” vulnerability rating in Trust and Company Service Provider, Securities & Legal Professions, and Financial Institutions under supervision of FSC respectively. The Banking sector, Other Financial Institutions – under BoM Supervision, Insurance sector and Accountancy Sectors were all rated as “Medium”. Other Financial Institutions include those activity related to Hawala transactions, MVTS, NBDTIs, and Cash Dealers – all rated “Medium High” risk. Other FIs under supervision of the FSC include Payment Intermediaries Services (PIS), Distribution of Financial Products (CFP), Credit Finance (CF), Leasing (LEA), Treasury Management with a residual risk vulnerability of “Medium”. The overall TF risk in Mauritius is “Medium” given that the TF threat is rated “Medium Low” and the TF vulnerability is rated “Medium High”., according to the NRA ML/TF 2019.

Response: Mauritius is often described as Africa’s most developed country, but this didn’t prevent it from being placed on the FATF’s grey list in February 2020, though it was also able to respond very quickly and was in fact removed in October 2021. Mauritius has just on “Partially Compliant” rating out of 40 FATF Reccomendations and no Non Compliant Ratings. The PC rating is R15 New Technologies, relating to regulating virtual assets.

Latest Developments: In December, 2023, the Mauritius government announced the establishment of a Financial Crime Commission, which is to become the, “apex agency in Mauritius to detect, investigate and prosecute financial crimes such as corruption offences, money laundering offences, fraud offences, the financing of drug dealing offences and any other ancillary offence connected thereto”. With this, “the Commission will take over the functions and powers of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Asset Recovery Investigation Division (ARID) of the Financial Intelligence Unit under the Asset Recovery Act and the Integrity Reporting Services Agency (IRSA) under the Good Governance and Integrity Reporting Act. In addition, the Commission will henceforth be the depository of all declarations made under the Declaration of Assets Act”. Furthermore, “to provide for more accountability and oversight in respect of case investigation and case management by the Commission, opportunity is being taken to reintroduce the Operations Review Committee, a committee which was set up under the Prevention of Corruption Act but later removed”.

Key Outcomes Performance Data for Mauritius:

FIU Staffing: 39 (2021) 

STRs Reported: 1,355 (1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022)

SAR Conversion Rate: 293 disseminations from (from 1,729 STRs (int & external – 1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022) – or approx 17%).

PPP: Not yet

NRA: Yes latest ML/TF/PF 2019, Virtual Assets 2021 & NPO 2022

ML Convictions: 5 in 2017

Human Trafficking Convictions: 2 in 2021

Foreign Bribery Convictions: None (2018-2021)

Assets Seized: US$3.85M Million (<1% of estimated financial crime proceeds @ 3.6% of GDP)  (1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022)

Assets Confiscated: US$0.63 Million (<1% of estimated financial crime proceeds @ 3.6% of GDP)  (1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022)

For the Mauritius Financial Crime Dashboard see below and HERE: Mauritius Dashboard Dec 2023 PUBLD

These materials are owned by and coprwrited by Metriqa Ltd/Financial Crime News.

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