Seychelles joins forces in fight against money-laundering


At the 21st Egmont Plenary in which formal membership was ratified, the Seychelles contribution presented by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) was singled out for particular praise and attention.

The Egmont Group came about in 1995 after a group of financial intelligence units met at the Egmont Arenberg Palace in Brussels and decided to establish an informal group to enhance international co-operation in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Now known as the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, the FIUs meet regularly to find ways to co-operate in the areas of information exchange, training and the sharing of experiences.

Seychelles’ FIU director Declan Barber has expressed his satisfaction at the admission of Seychelles to this forum and singled out Phillip Moustache for particular praise in ensuring Seychelles was successful in its application to join.

The FIU’s application to join the Egmont Group received the full support of Finance, Trade and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte and that of Home Affairs and Transport Minister Joel Morgan.
The Egmont membership application process requires the sponsorship of a number of Egmont member FIUs to help in the process of undergoing review and audit by the Egmont Outreach Working Group and the Legal Working Group including the conduct of an onsite inspection with a report being sent to the two groups.

The French, Mauritian and South African FIUs were involved as sponsors in the Seychelles application process at different stages and the Legal Working Group thoroughly reviewed the legislation in place to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. 

Following a detailed on-site inspection, Seychelles passed the Outreach Working Group stage last year.

Early this year a delegation from the FIU met with the Legal Working Group in Belgium to provide any clarifications that might be required.

Following this meeting a recommendation for admission was made to the heads of FIUs at the annual plenary to be held in South Africa.

All the heads of FIUs present at the plenary last week endorsed the membership application and Seychelles was officially accepted as a member of the Egmont Group.

Seven other FIUs, including the Holy See (Vatican City State), were also endorsed as new members. 

The admission ceremony in South Africa was attended by Phillip Moustache and Liam Hogan who, having presented the work of the Seychelles FIU to the international audience, were warmly welcomed into Egmont by the other members.

The detailed presentation on Seychelles legislation, FIU implementation and case studies drew enormous interest from the assembled specialists who regard Seychelles as a model for anti money-laundering in the region.

The endorsement of Seychelles will strengthen the jurisdiction’s ability to interact with a global network of information of important strategic and regional significance especially in the fight against money laundering, drug-trafficking, the financing of terrorism and weapons proliferation. 

The Seychelles FIU receives hundreds of enquiries each year from other states investigating serious criminal activities which have made use of the Seychelles financial and corporate services sector.

This endorsement by the Egmont Group is a visible signal that Seychelles is recognised internationally as being committed to preventing the abuse of its jurisdiction by criminals seeking to conceal or launder the proceeds of their crimes.


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