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Individual Law Practitioners

Pursuant to the First Schedule of the Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2002, the FIU has been designated as the AML/CFT Regulator for Individual Law Practitioners (ILP) such as Barristers, Attorneys and Notaries. Recommendation 22 of the FATF acknowledges the role that such gatekeepers can play by recommending that such individuals have AML/CFT responsibilities when engaged in certain activities. In Mauritius, Legal professionals are involved in the vast majority of transactions and are therefore called to act with integrity and uphold the law in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.

In relation to prescribed activities set out under the FIAMLA, AML/CFT obligations are applicable for an ILP who prepares for, or carries out, transactions for his client concerning the following activities –

  1. buying, selling or rental of real estate;
  2. managing of client money, securities or other assets;
  3. management of bank, savings or securities accounts;
  4. organisation of contributions for the creation, operation or management of legal persons such as a company, a foundation, a limited liability partnership or such other entity as may be prescribed;
  5. creating, operating or management of legal persons such as a company, a foundation, an association, a limited liability partnership or such other entity as may be prescribed, or legal arrangements, and buying and selling of business entities; 
  6. the business activities of virtual asset service providers and issuers of initial token offerings under the Virtual Asset and Initial Token Offering Services Act 2021; or
  7. any activity for a client as specified below:

[…] who prepares, or carries out, transactions for a client concerning the following activities

  • acting as a formation agent of a legal person with a view to assisting another person to incorporate, register or set up, as the case may be, a company, a foundation, a limited liability partnership or such other entity as may be prescribed;
  • acting, or causing another person to act, as a director, as a secretary, as a partner or in any other similar position, as the case may be, of a legal person such as a company, foundation, a limited liability partnership or such other entity as may be prescribed;
  • providing a registered office, a business address or an accommodation, a correspondence or an administrative address for a legal person such as a company, a foundation, a limited liability partnership or such other entity as may be prescribed; or
  • acting, or causing for another person to act, as a nominee shareholder for another person

As the AML/CFT regulator for the individual law practitioners, the FIU is mandated to ensure compliance by such legal professionals with the FIAMLA, the UN Sanctions Act, and any regulations and guidelines issued under these Acts. The FIU is empowered to:

  • request information or records from its members in the discharge of its functions;
  • conduct inspections (offsite and onsite);
  • require members to submit a report on corrective measures it is taking to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation;
  • give directions to members falling under its purview; and
  • impose administrative sanctions under section 19N of the FIAMLA.