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High Risk Country

Section 17H(1) of the Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act (FIAML Act) provides that where a jurisdiction is identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as having significant or strategic deficiencies in its AML/CFT measures, the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance (Minister) may, on the recommendation of the National Committee for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (National Committee), identify that jurisdiction as a high risk country.

In this respect, in light of the jurisdictions identified by FATF as ‘High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a call for action’, and on the recommendation of the National Committee, the Minister has identified the following countries as high risk, as published under the General Notice No. 360 of 2023 (Notice) in the Government Gazette of Mauritius of 18 March 2023:

  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) – unchanged since February 2020
  • Iran – unchanged since February 2020
  • Myanmar – since 21 October 2022

The Notice reminds reporting persons that they are required, under section 17H(2) of the FIAML Act, to apply such enhanced due diligence measures which are prescribed in the Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Regulations 2018 with respect to business relationships or transactions involving those high risk countries. In addition, reporting persons should, where applicable and proportionate to the risks, apply one or more of the following additional mitigating measures to persons and legal entities carrying out transactions involving those high-risk countries:

  1. the application of additional elements of enhanced due diligence;
  1. the introduction of enhanced relevant reporting mechanisms or systematic reporting of financial transactions; and
  1. the limitation of business relationships or transactions with natural persons or legal entities from those high-risk countries.

The Notice also reminds reporting persons that they should further –

  1. consult the FATF public documents which are published on the website of the FATF ( at least 3 times a year, namely in February, June and October, and apply the countermeasures recommended by the FATF in those documents;
  1. give special attention to business relationships and transactions with persons (both natural and legal persons) in those high-risk countries, including companies, legal arrangements/trusts and financial institutions based in those countries;
  1. strengthen systems and controls in managing their exposure to the vulnerabilities identified by FATF; and
  1. ensure that correspondent relationships, in particular, are not being used to evade countermeasures and risk mitigation practices.

Any non-compliance with the directions and specifications contained in the Notice published is a criminal offence under the FIAML Act and may further attract administrative sanctions and penalties imposed by the supervisory authorities under the Act.

Licensees of the Bank of Mauritius (Bank) are required to ensure strict compliance with the Notice at all times, and ensure that appropriate procedures and processes are implemented to adhere to the requirements set out in the Notice and the FIAML Act and the Regulations issued thereunder.