Two day workshop of Beneficial Ownership Standard and Implementation

April 02, 2021

A two-day workshop on Beneficial Ownership Standard and Country Implementation took place this week as part of Seychelles effort to meet its objectives in strengthening and improving its Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of the Financing of Terrorism (“AML/CFT”) framework.

The workshop, held between 30th and 31st March 2021, was facilitated by the Stolen Asset Recovery (“StAR”) Initiative which is a joint partnership between the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (“UNODC”) supporting international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds.

The two-day working session was made possible under the World Bank Refundable Advisory Services (“RAS”) agreement.

The workshop, conducted virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, brought together a number of experienced speakers from organizations such as the World Bank itself, StAR, INTERPOL and EUROPOL.

They provided an overview of the expected international standard on Beneficial Ownership from a Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) point of view and also from a Taxation and Law Enforcement standpoint.

In 2020, a new Beneficial Ownership Act was promulgated and this workshop was a mean to raise awareness among the main stakeholders and ‘resident agents’ who are viewed as the “gate-keepers” for Beneficial Ownership information vis-à-vis the relevant Seychelles’ legal persons and legal arrangements.

Fittingly, real-life perspectives from other jurisdictions were also shared through invited speakers from Jersey, Cayman Islands and Slovak Republic, providing opportunities for participants to realize how these jurisdictions apply and implement Beneficial Ownership standards.  

Industry participants displayed inspiring interest via the number of participants and the quality of interventions and questions posed to the speakers and facilitators. In addition, members of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Committee (NAC), and members of the Technical Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Committee (TAC) which is the NAC’s Technical Committee, and other supervisors and competent authorities participated and contributed over the course of the two-day workshop.

The chairperson of NAC, Secretary of State for Finance, Patrick Payet, said it is important to continue to develop local capacity.

"One of the strategic objectives of the Seychelles National AML and CFT Strategy 2020-2023 is developing capacities of relevant public and private sector entities to combat Money-Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Proliferation Financing. The National AML/CFT committee will continue to engage with the private sector to ensure that we safeguard the integrity of the country's financial system through adherence to international best practices".

Seychelles Authorities are committed to providing general and targeted awareness raising sessions either locally with the assistance of the Resident Advisor, or through other partners such as the World Bank through the aforementioned RAS programme.

Seychelles Authorities are committed to maintaining this spirit of collaboration with the private sector practitioners and will continue to positively contribute to a collaborative relationship in support of Seychelles’ efforts to meet the international standards on Beneficial Ownership matters. 

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