Press Release No. : 22/2015
Date : 28 July 2015
Fijian government officials recently attended the 18th annual plenary meeting of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) which was held from 11-17 July in Auckland, New Zealand.
Fiji is a member of the APG and contributes to important plenary discussions and decisions at the annual meetings. The Fijian delegation comprised senior officials from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Office of the Solicitor General, Fiji Police Force, Fiji Revenue and Custom Authority, Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Financial Intelligence Unit.
The meeting discussed various membership issues including reports of countries compliance with the international anti-money laundering (AML) and combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT) standards. Members of the APG undergo peer assessments of their compliance with these standards. The Auckland meeting discussed and adopted five evaluation reports of Australia, Samoa, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Vanuatu. Fiji also provided an assessor and a reviewer in two mutual evaluations and raised a number of important interventions and comments at the meeting.
The meeting also discussed Fiji’s upcoming mutual evaluation in October 2015. This peer assessment will see how well Fiji is complying with the international AML/CFT standards that includes, among other things, AML/CFT laws, policies, coordination, powers of the law enforcement authorities, FIU, preventative measures for banks and other financial institutions, ML convictions and confiscation of proceeds of crime.
Mr Razim Buksh, Director of the FIU who led the Fijian delegation to the meeting, said that Fiji’s mutual evaluation onsite visit will be very intensive and will see the involvement of both the public sector and private sector agencies. The National AML Council is now making preparations for the onsite visit by a team of experts in October 2015.
Mr Buksh said that Fiji also raised key global compliance issues at the meeting and called for greater flexibility when assessing compliance of AML/CFT standards for low risk and low capacity countries.
Mr Buksh said that the 2016 APG annual plenary meeting will be held in July in Bangladesh where Fiji’s mutual evaluation report will be discussed and adopted.