The Seychelles is an islands paradise, at least for foreign tourists, but as with everywhere else it faces common and unique financial crime threats. A new 25 page Financial Crime Assessment and 2 Page Dashboard updates the previous work published in 2020 are now available. Always fascinating to dig deep into different places and see both the evolving threat and the response.
Drugs & Corruption are the two dominant financial related crimes that have long been related and have turned the Seychelles into one of the most addicted to heroin places in the world. A previous party in power for decades almost always leads to cronyism (Singapore excepted) which inevitably leads to corruption.
Paradise comes at a price, for the affluent increasingly being the targets of attempted fraud and scams, for foreign migrant labour potential victims of MS/HT risks, for those in poverty, alcohol and drugs and crime to pay for these.
With a fresh new government that made fighting drugs and corruption a key part of its manifesto for change, there is hope. Success in getting removed for the EU Tax Haven listing and avoiding FATF listing may be the international priorities.
Action to establish a central BO database, and risk assessments completed ahead of action to tackle 2 open FATF NC ratings on R8 NPOs & R15 New Technologies (Virtual Currencies) demonstrate Seychelles is taking these issues very seriously.
As important as closing loopholes, taking action on drugs and corruption are as if not more important. Including now treatment for addiction to drugs as well as continuing a law enforcement approach AND prosecuting 6 of the highest profile names connected with the previous regime for corruption and money laundering are important works in progress. How the Seychelles progresses in its struggle with drugs and corruption more broadly will shape the future of the Seychelles to its people, but avoiding listing for tax or financial crime is also important to protect the islands international reputation and its financial and professional services sector.
As with most other countries, the Seychelles, has minimal money laundering convictions and asset recoveries, though virtual currency wallet asset freezes are significant, which also indicate perhaps how the financial crime and money laundering threat is changing, not only in the Seychelles.
The 2017 NRA had Banks and MSBs as the most vulnerable sectors, followed by DNFPBs including Real Estate and Car Dealers from Corruption, Drug Trafficking, Tax Offences and Smuggling. Expect the updated NRA (later this year or next) to update this to include Fraud and Cybercrime, and perhaps MS/HT and Environmental Crime and to especially include the VC sector but not the NPO sector as a high vulnerability.
For the 2 page Financial Crime Dashboard See HERE: Seychelles FC Dashboard