The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced, at its Plenary meeting on 21 October, that it had removed Mauritius from its ‘grey list’ of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their approach to anti-money laundering and combatting terrorism financing (AML/CFT) and therefore subject to increased monitoring.
The move followed an onsite assessment of Mauritius’s AML-CFT Framework by the FATF’s Africa/Middle East Joint Group (AME JG) from 13 to 15 September. The delegation met with the relevant ministries and authorities and visited the premises of a number of institutions.
“Mauritius has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in February 2020. Mauritius is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process,” said the FATF President Dr. Marcus Pleyer.
Mauritius was first placed on the FATF ‘grey list’ in February 2020. Consequently, it was also included (along with 11 other countries) on the European Union’s revised list of high-risk countries that have ‘strategic deficiencies in their AML-CFT framework’. The EU ‘blacklisting’ applied as of 1 October 2020.
Following its listing, Mauritius made a high-level political commitment to the FATF to address the strategic deficiencies identified. A committee headed by the Prime Minister was assembled to accelerate implementation of its FATF Action Plan and secure removal from the FATF list by September 2021.
The FATF decided at its previous Plenary meeting in June that Mauritius had “substantially completed” its Action Plan. It commended Mauritius for the progress achieved in addressing its strategic deficiencies, especially under difficult circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the FATF said Mauritius had made the following key reforms:
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