Mauritius: A Conference on Economic Crime under the Virtual theme Assets – Challenges Ahead, aiming to enable all law enforcement agencies and regulators to understand the different aspects of virtual assets and the associated challenges and risks as well as to upskill them on the recommended regulatory frameworks, opened this morning at the Hennessy Park Hotel, in Ebène.
The event is an initiative of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in collaboration with the Integrity Reporting Services Agency (IRSA) and the Corporate and Business Registration Department.
The DPP, Mr Satyajit Boolell, the Registrar of Companies, Mrs Prabha Chinien, the Director of IRSA, Mr Paul Keyton, representatives of law enforcement agencies, international experts and other personalities were present on occasion.
In his address, the DPP stated that Virtual Assets have come a long way and are the latest tool shaping the architecture of the financial industry. He underlined that this new trading currency has many benefits, including attracting investors and entrepreneurs but is also associated with many threats when used fraudulently.
Mr Boolell spoke of the various challenges posed by virtual assets and the need to devise regulations in line with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards. The workshop, he said, will give an insight into the different components of illegal activities such as financial terrorism, anti-money laundering, fraud, bribery and corruption. It will also provide an opportunity for law enforcement agencies and regulators to collaborate and devise strategies and frameworks so as to adapt to this new technology and prepare themselves to identify and combat any illegal activities, he added.
He recalled that in view to provide a comprehensive legislative framework for virtual asset service providers and issuers of initial token offerings, the Virtual Asset and Initial Token Offering Services Act was passed in 2021 and came into force in 2022.
The Act was prepared in line with international standards to strengthen the development of key sectors and encourage innovation in fintech and regtech, he said.
For her part, Mrs Chinien highlighted that virtual assets are becoming more prominent and will continue to grow globally.
She added that virtual assets are at the initial stage in Mauritius, which as a result, necessitates the collaboration of all regulators and law enforcement agencies to set regulatory frameworks in line with the FATF best practices.
She underlined that virtual assets regulation is a challenging process and called all stakeholders to pave the way forward so as to tackle the challenges posed by this new technology in the most efficient manner. The Registrar of Companies stressed the need to ensure compliance with global standards and to prevent misuse of virtual technology to mitigate the risk of money laundering and the proliferation of such related risks.