21 Feb 2006

Fiji works to ensure its meeting international financial standards

3:55 pm on 21 February 2006

Work is continuing in Fiji to ensure the country is meeting international financial standards to combat money laundering and meet anti-terrorism obligations.

The chief executive of the Ministry of Justice, Sakiusa Rabuka, says they've enacted recent legislation which establishes a financial intelligence unit, and regulates financial transactions, and bank reporting to prevent money laundering.

He was speaking as a team from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund begin a comprehensive assessment of Fiji's financial institutions.

Mr Rabuka says it's been made clear to them that having the legislation in place is important but being able to implement and monitor it, is also key.

And, he says he's aware that there are some shortcomings.

"We need, still, some expertise in our people who are going to be in, for example, in the financial intelligence unit. They need to be attached to counterparts like Austrack in Australia. Number two, we will be requiring, under the new transactions over 10,000 (Fijian) dollars to be reported to the FIU."

Mr Rabuka says the report from the World Bank will identify their shortcomings and they will then be able to apply for technical assistance to overcome these.