On Thursday 3rd August 2017 the Vanuatu Government's Council of Ministers ("COM") approved the Vanuatu National Risk Assessment ("NRA") as a living document focusing on money laundering through the offshore sector and terrorist financing. This NRA supplements the 2015 NRA.
Read more: Press Release No. 5 of 2017.
In the current ongoing efforts to satisfy and exit the "Financial Action Task Force grey list" (FATF grey list), the Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit ("FIU") is inclined to announce the official gazettal of thirteen (13) Acts, having been successfully enacted through the National Parliament and consented to by His Excellency Late President and published on 16" June 2017.
Read more: Press Release No. 3 of 2017.
This Press Release is intended to inform the reporting entities of the new amendments to the principle Anti-Money Laundering & Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML&CTF) Act No. 13 of 2014.
Read more: Press Release No. 4 of 2017.
On Wednesday 29th March 2017 the amendments to the AML&CTF Registration Form for reporting entity was published in the Official Gazette order No. 37 of 2017.
Read more: Press Release No. 2 of 2017.
Following the public statement issued by the APG Secretariat and the FATF against Vanuatu one of the most important deficiencies identified was inadequate measures to implement United Nations resolutions for targeted financial sanctions against terrorists.
Read more: Press Release No. 1 of 2017.
The VFIU has exercised its new powers under section 50A of the AML&CTF Act by issuing a penalty notice to a local Money Exchange Business. The penalty fine was paid by the Money Exchange Business directly to the Vanuatu Government Treasury.
Read more: Press Release No. 3 of 2016.
The VFIU is in receipt of reports identifying an exponential increase of alleged fraudulent activity involving Internet Banking or Online Banking Customers and persons using social media namely Facebook. The VFIU wishes to advice members of the Public who are victim of the fraudulent activities to foreign beneficiaries to report their case the the VFIU or the Vanuatu Police Force.
Read more: Press Release No. 1 of 2016.
With reference to press release 1 of 2016 concerning Internet Banking or Online Bank Fraud, the VFIU is also in receipt of several information identifying alleged ATM card skimming activities. The VFIU wishes to advice members of the public who are victim of the fraudulent activities to report the matter to the Bank immediately.
Read more: Press Release No. 2 of 2016.
In October 2015, further amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act was brought into effect and force.
This Amendment Act and the amended AML&CTF Regulation have brought significant changes to the AML&CTF landscape whereby Reporting Entities' preventive measures are enhanced further.
The amended Act and Regulation now place enhanced requirement on Reporting Entities to register their businesses and professions with the VFIU, establish and maintain an AML&CTF Group-Wide Procedure Manuals for Entities operating branches, agents or subsidiaries, conduct an independent audit on its AML&CTF systems and provide adequate protection of person making reports to the VFIU.
It also established the Vanuatu National AML&CTF Committee to oversee the strategic polices and direction on AML&CTF systems in Vanuatu. And impose further administrative sanctions available to the VFIU.