Following amendments made to the Asset Recovery Ac, FIU has been assigned the duties of asset recovery since January 2016. It is now the Enforcement Authority pursuant to the Asset Recovery Act. ARID operates as a department of the FIU and is staffed by Police Officers and analysts. FIU is thus one of the five authorities in Mauritius with powers to confiscate criminal assets.
On 30 October 2019, a national policy on confiscation was adopted by the Government of Mauritius. This policy has set out a common vision for all agencies involved in the confiscation of criminal assets in the country. It can be accessed at the following link: National Policy
Case Referral by the Police
Cases are referred to ARID by the Police based on the following criteria:
(a) All offences committed for a benefit amounting to Rs 100,000 or more
(b) All drug dealing cases involving an amount of Rs 100,000 or more;
(c) In any case where Police have seized money exceeding Rs100, 000 and where the circumstances are deemed suspicious;
(d) Instrumentality cases where a vehicle, house or other valuable property was used in or was material to the commission of the offence.
The ICAC and FIU may also refer cases to ARID. In addition, cases are also channeled to ARID through Mutual Legal Assistance.
ARID’s main functions
ARID is empowered to apply for Judge’s Orders pursuant to the Asset Recovery Act to secure assets reasonably believed to represent proceeds or an instrumentality of crime or terrorist property. The four main orders applied for are Restraining, Restriction, Confiscation and Recovery Orders.
In Mauritius, each of the five authorities who have the power to restrain or freeze assets operate under their respective statutory framework. However, to further promote a coordinated approach and to ensure that there is clarity in relation to each authority’s powers and functions, procedures for each agency have been clearly documented and collated such that this important information may be accessed efficiently in one place. The consolidated procedures were formally approved by the National Committee on AML/CFT on 30 October 2019. The document may be accessed at the following link NationalConfiscationProcedures.pdf