Mauritius: Authorities announce new unit against financial crime and new powers to sanction offshore entities

The Bank of Mauritius has announced the creation of a “Market Intelligence Cell” with the mandate of preventing and sanctioning financial crimes which could destabilize the local financial sector, says lemauricien.com.

The BoM has called on the general public to cooperate with the new Cell, assuring that information shared with it will be held confidential, preserving the anonymity of informants if so requested.

A second article reports that the Mauritius Financial Services Commission has been granted new powers to impose administrative sanctions against offshore entities which do not comply with reporting requirements. The new regulations will come into effect as of April 1st 2014.

“In addition, the FSC continues its campaign to reassure India about its commitment to fight against any abuse of the Treaty of double taxation.”

The article also says that Mauritius has decided to include a clause in the framework of the revision of the India-Mauritius treaty referring to “limitation of benefits to further ringfence its jurisdiction from any attempts of round-tripping and money laundering activities,” and that Mauritius has expressed willingness to sign a Tax Information and Exchange Agreement (TIEA) between the two countries.

For more on round-tripping via Mauritius please the Tax Justice Network blog here and here. Mauritius is ranked 19th on the 2013 Financial Secrecy Index.