ESAAMLG holds training in Seychelles for anti-money laundering assessorsGeneral |Author: Alisa Uzice Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | January 23, 2024, Tuesday @ 09:13| 3698 views
The week-long training will provide the 40 prospective assessors with the tools to help out during the next mutual evaluation assessment. (Seychelles News Agency)
The Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) has partnered with Seychelles to beef up the pool of in-country assessors who can ensure that progress is being made to prevent money laundering in the country.
The secretary of state for finance, Patrick Payet, who chairs the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Finance of Terrorism (AMLCFT) committee, said that out of the 40 recommendations Seychelles received from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF); the country is compliant with 34 and non-compliant to six.
This is an improvement following the result of Seychelles’ report in 2018 where the island nation was non-compliant with 20 recommendations.
The FATFs’ website states that these recommendations set out a comprehensive and consistent framework of measures that countries should implement to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
“We requested the ESAAMLG to provide training for a group of our Seychellois professionals. Normally they hold these trainings overseas and with several countries together. They don’t often accept these requests; to provide in-country training, so it is a privilege to have them here with us,” said Payet.
The week-long training will provide the 40 prospective assessors from different government organisations with the tools to help out during the next mutual evaluation assessment.
“They will be able to advise the heads of institutions on whether there are still any deficiencies regarding the FATF recommendations. This will help Seychelles be ready and able to defend its report in 2027 at the end of the assessment process. It is a cycle, every few years they analyse how institutions have evolved along with the recommendations,” he added.
The secretary of state said that through this training, these prospective assessors can even do assessments in the region as well. "Oftentimes, the ESAAMLG or FATF will ask a country to send assessors to assess another country; so, we will now have a bigger pool of people to choose from that we can send. In turn, they gain more expertise,” he explained.
He also emphasised the need for all relevant organisations to work together to implement AMLCFT in Seychelles.
“The report will not only look at the policy and laws in place, it will also look at the effectiveness of these laws. This is what we intend to work on this year, so that come 2027 we can show statistics that the work we’ve done has been effective and that we are serious about AMLCFT,” said Payet.
The director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Richard Rampal, said the recommendations set by the FATF are quite complex and that an assessor must be knowledgeable about the different laws and international standards that concern AMLCFT.
“I am also a trained assessor, I did it in 2011. It has helped me in my career, especially at the FIU, where I knew what requirements were necessary to ensure that the institution is effective. It is a value chain. It starts with preventive measures then it goes to the FIU where reports about money laundering are analysed, then it is escalated to investigators who look at the case more in-depth to bring it in front of the attorney general for prosecution,” he said.