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Offshore money transfers a concern

Ropate Valemei
Friday, September 30, 2016

THE Fijian economy is gradually moving from cash-based to being more reliant on electronic transaction.

However, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) highlighted in its 2015 annual report that cash was still a significant component of the economy.

"The movement of funds, both cash and electronic wire transfers that originate from offshore has also been identified as a concern as a potential enabler for money laundering and financing of terrorism to occur in and through Fiji," the report stated.

According to the Fiji National Risk Assessment Report, it found that Fiji is not considered to have a significant money laundering risk. And risk of terrorist financing in Fiji is assessed as low.

"Fiji's relatively diverse financial sector creates a number of vulnerabilities which can lead to the escalation of money laundering and financing of terrorism.

"The commercial banks are considered to be very highly vulnerable to money laundering and financing of terrorism.

The sector that were found to be less, but still highly vulnerable, were licensed foreign exchange dealers and safe custody facilities.

The report noted real estate sector in Fiji is also vulnerable to money laundering and financing of terrorism.

It noted a high political will to ensure that significant legislative reform has recently been carried out in Fiji and that money laundering and financing of terrorism are addressed as a priority.

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