Fiji’s compliance to be evaluated

By: Halitesh Datt


money laundering 1Fiji’s capabilities in complying with the international standards on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism will soon be evaluated.

The Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering will conduct the evaluation in October.

This exercise will test Fiji’s ability to address growing criminal trends.

There are 40 Financial Action Task force recommendations that act as international standards for countries to comply with while combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The evaluation exercise by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering will see how well Fiji has adopted these recommendations.

“The recommendations ranges from legal requirements in terms of how well if for example money laundering and terrorism financing is criminalized in the law, what are the adequate provisions to prevent the financial systems from being abused by criminals, what are the institutional system such as the Financial Intelligence Unit and law enforcement agencies, what the provisions and systems in place” said Razim Buksh- Director- Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit

A similar exercise conducted by the World Bank in 2006 revealed Fiji wasn’t doing well in these areas.

However Buksh said Fiji has now come a long way in adopting and implementing those recommendations.

However further empowering the law enforcement agency, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and review of non-profit organizations to establish the risk of being associated with money laundering remains to be addressed in Fiji.

” we have to be really prepare well. Preparedness is very important so that when the assessment team comes in October, we tell them the right things we have. For example the assessment team will want to know not just how well the Fiji Police Force is investigating money laundering or serious crimes but they will look at the capacity of the investigators” said Buksh

The evaluation team will also be meeting and talking to the private sector such as commercial banks to assess their level of compliance and preventive measures.

” If we are seen to be compliant with the basic requirements, then of course we get a tick which means we will have the investment and investors having confidence in the Fijian economy and financial system. It will boost our international ranking in terms of ease of doing business” said Buksh

However if assessment reveals more gaps, then Fiji will be referred to a higher body Financial Action Task force.

The FIU is confident of positive results from the assessment.

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