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Seychelles National Assembly approves amendments to Prevention of Terrorism Act

Victoria, Seychelles | October 26, 2023, Thursday @ 15:09 in National » GENERAL | By: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4295
Seychelles National Assembly approves amendments to Prevention of Terrorism Act

The amendment is to keep in line with Eastern Southern Africa Anti-money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) recommendations. ((Nick Youngson) Photo License: CC BY-SA 2.0 

The Seychelles National Assembly on Wednesday approved proposed amendments to the Prevention of Terrorism Act in keeping with Eastern Southern Africa Anti-money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) recommendations.

The proposed amendment bill was presented to the the National Assembly by the Minister for Internal Affairs, Errol Fonseka, who said that it was important to make the amendments to the current law, which was passed in 2004 with its regulations established in 2015.

The ESAAMLG works to adhere to global standards to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation. Each member country has at least one ministerial representative on the group's Council of Ministers, the group's key decision-making body.

Seychelles, as one of ESAAMLG's 20 members went through a series of evaluations in 2018. As part of the recommendations the grouping made to the island nation was that a series of amendments had to be made to current laws, including precise definitions of financing terrorism and a terrorist.

Fonseka said that it was pointed out that a good legal structure be put in place to combat such crimes.

A series of meetings with ESAAMLG, the latest in August, were held to discuss the deadline Seychelles had to implement the recommendations.

The Cabinet of Ministers had already approved amendments to the law in August this year.

"These laws need to be amended to address certain weaknesses we are faced with in practice, as well as those ESAAMLG pointed out in order for Seychelles to conform to international norms," said the minister.

He added that "the proposed amendments will also bring the current law's definition up to date and in conformity with the new anti-money laundering law."

Fonseka said that should Seychelles not act upon the recommendations "we risk facing actions such as our banks losing their correspondent's facility – which will then have an impact on importation among others."

There will be further review of Seychelles' commitment to the proposed changes in April 2024 with follow-ups of the work carried out as well as to determine progress made.

Fonseka concluded his presentation by stressing the importance of Seychelles' approving the amendments as it would allow the country "to take a firmer stance in ESAAMLG, have more detailed and up-to-date law".

The law was passed while young parliamentarians were observing the National Assembly's sitting.

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Tags: Eastern Southern Africa Anti-money Laundering Group, ESAAMLG

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