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Saturday, February 21, 2009

National Anti-Money Laundering Conference – 18 Feb 2009

The first national anti-money laundering conference of its kind took place at the Holiday Inn on 18 Feb 2009. The one day conference was hosted by Fiji’s financial watchdog, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

The Governor General of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Mr. Savenaca Narube, opened the conference by emphasizing the importance of Fiji doing all it can to help the global community combat financial crimes by strengthening its own financial regulations because the world was so closely connected now more than ever.

The conference was also an opportunity for stakeholders to familiarize themselves with FIU and its role. The FIU was an idea borne through the experiences of the RBF and this idea became a reality when in 2006, the FIU was formally established by law. The FIU currently runs under the auspices of the Reserve Bank of Fiji and is under the powers of the Governor. However, the FIU should really be under the powers of the Minister of Justice.

Some of the notable achievements of FIU to date are:

  • Development of Anti-Money Laws (i.e. Proceeds of Criminal Act, Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act and Financial Transactions Reporting Act together with its Regulations)
  • Establishment of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Committee.
  • Establishment of special investigation units such as the Transnational Crime Unit, Police Money Laundering Crime Unit, and FIRCA’s Fraud & Evasion Unit.
  • Developed an electronic reporting and data management IT system for AML work.
  • Introduced the $10000 border currency reporting, $10,000 cash transaction reporting and reporting of all international electronic funds transfer.

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