BVI arm of Mossack Fonseca fined by BVI FSC

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission has fined Mossack Fonseca & Co (BVI) Limited for US$440,000, the largest amount ever issued by the FSC, for the contravention of the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code of Practice and BVI Regulatory Code. The arm of the Panama Papers law firm failed to record keeping, risk assessment and adequate updating of customer due diligence.

This followed the investigation into the BVI branch of the firm upon the publication of the Panama Papers in April 2016, including a six month on-site compliance inspection focused on reviewing specific aspects of the company’s anti-money laundering and risk management procedures, and the appointment of a qualified person approved by the Commission to advise on company’s business affairs and to give recommendations on how to bring it into full compliance.

Premier Dr Orlando Smith said in his comments on the actions of BVI FSC: “Today’s enforcement action clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the territory’s independent regulator, the seriousness with which it tackles any breaches of its code and, through the adjustments made to its risk assessment framework, an ongoing commitment to strengthening its regime to ensure this remains fit for purpose.”

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