Seychelles attends the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group’s virtual Task Force of the Senior Officials Meetings
December 09, 2020
Seychelles has participated in the combined 39th and 40th Task Force of the Senior Officials Meetings of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), that has taken place from November 24 to December 04, 2020. The meetings were being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Secretary of State for Finance, Economic Planning and Trade, also Chairperson of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Committee (NAC), Mr Patrick Payet was leading the Seychelles team comprising of other NAC members and representatives of the relevant authorities working to enhance the country’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework. This includes the Central Bank of Seychelles, Financial Services Authority, Financial Intelligence Unit, Anti-Corruption Commission of Seychelles, Attorney General’s office, Seychelles Police, Seychelles Revenue Commission, Seychelles Licensing Authority and Office of the Registrar General.
The Seychelles team has participated in numerous working groups and plenary discussions. One of the key focus for Seychelles is to defend the country’s first Follow Up Re-rating report in front of the experts that monitor the progress of ESAAMLG member countries against the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) international standards for AML/CFT. The first meeting was held last Wednesday, where the delegation presented and defended initiatives undertaken as part of efforts to address deficiencies identified in the 2017 National Risk Assessment (NRA) and the 2018 Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) and strengthen the Seychelles AML/CFT regime.
Initiatives highlighted include the enforcement of two key pieces of legislation - the new AML/CFT Act, 2020 and Beneficial Ownership Act, 2020, ongoing work to draft and amend other relevant laws, as well as the formulation and implementation of a three-year National AML/CFT Strategy.
It is to be noted that the Mutual Evaluation conducted by the ESAAMLG in 2018, which assessed Seychelles’ compliance to the FATF’s 40 recommendations, rated the country to be compliant in 20 areas, partially compliant in 16 and non-compliant in four others. Seychelles initially submitted a request for re-rating of twelve recommendations to which the country was deemed partially compliant. However, in view of the current virtual meeting process only three recommendations 1, 26 and 29 - which relate to assessing risks and applying a risk-based approach, regulation and supervision of financial institutions and the FIU model, respectively are being assessed. In addition, given FATF’s recent review of recommendations 2 relating to national cooperation and coordination and 15 on new technologies, Seychelles’ compliance with these two recommendations is also being reassessed.
The outcome of the re-rating request will be known during the 20th Council of Ministers meeting of the ESAAMLG, which will also be held virtually on Monday December 07, 2020.