Álvaro Sobrinho case: Bank of Mauritius reprimands State Bank
Several “anomalies” were detected in the processes leading to the opening of three Álvaro Sobrinho bank accounts. At the heart of this new controversy on the Angolan businessman: the State Bank of Mauritius (SBM).
The State Bank would have been criticized by the Central Bank for accepting the opening of these accounts without having followed the procedures. This is at least what we find in our cross-references in this environment.
We have approached the management of the State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) to have its version on this whole affair since Thursday, November 16th. The express also went to the bank’s premises, but was informed that the answer is not yet ready.
In any event, our sources indicate that the SBM was reprimanded by the Central Bank for failing to carry out due diligence on its own initiative in this case. It relied solely on the financial year carried out by the Financial Services Commission on Álvaro Sobrinho Africa Ltd.
However, according to paragraph 6.15 of the Guidance Notes of the Central Bank, it is stated that “in order to be able to judge a transaction is not suspicious, financial institutions should have a clear understanding of the law of their customers” effect an ongoing monitoring of the activities “. Similarly, several other articles in these BoM guidelines have not been complied with, namely paragraphs 6.13, 6.29 and 6.35, dealing with the requirement to carry out appropriate identification exercises.
In addition, the bank should have alerted the Financial Intelligence Unit to these accounts so that a money trail exercise is conducted. Especially in a context where suspicions of embezzlement and money laundering relating to Álvaro Sobrinho have been relayed in the local and international media.
In the media, it is alleged that the bank violated Article 14 (1) of the Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act and paragraph 4.24 of the Guidance Notes. “Every bank, (…), shall be feasible but no longer than 15 working days, make a report to the FIU of any transaction which the bank (…) written in particular in the text of law. And any violation of this provision is punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years and a fine of less than Rs 1 million if the offense is proven.