Countries/Jurisdictions of Primary Concern - Fiji
The Republic of Fiji is a small country with a population of less than one million. It has relatively significant natural resources and is among the most developed of the Pacific island nations. It is not a regional financial center but serves as a regional hub for transportation and shipping for other Pacific island nations.
Fiji’s geographical location makes it a convenient potential staging point for criminal activities in Australia and New Zealand, as demonstrated by some significant drug-related cases and a noted increase in the number of human smuggling cases. Cross-border criminal gangs involving individuals from neighboring Asian countries also operate in Fiji.
There are no casinos currently operating. Although one large casino has been planned since 2011, construction has not yet started. It is unclear if the owners and investors have been vetted for AML risks; the ability of the government to regulate it effectively also is unknown.
For additional information focusing on terrorist financing, please refer to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism, which can be found at: http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/
DO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ENGAGE IN CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING THAT INCLUDE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF US CURRENCY; CURRENCY DERIVED FROM ILLEGAL SALES IN THE U.S.; OR ILLEGAL DRUG SALES THAT OTHERWISE SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT THE U.S.: NO
CRIMINALIZATION OF MONEY LAUNDERING:
“All serious crimes” approach or “list” approach to predicate crimes: All serious crimes
Are legal persons covered: criminally: YES civilly: YES
KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:
Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs: Foreign: YES Domestic: YES
KYC covered entities: Banks, foreign exchange dealers, money remittance service providers, law firms, real estate agencies, accountants
Number of STRs received and time frame: 461: July 2012 - June 2013
Number of CTRs received and time frame: 279: July 2012 - June 2013
STR covered entities: Banks, foreign exchange dealers, money remittance service providers, law firms, real estate agencies, accountants
MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:
Prosecutions: 25: January - November 2013
Convictions: 3: January - November 2013
RECORDS EXCHANGE MECHANISM:
With U.S.: MLAT: NO Other mechanism: YES
With other governments/jurisdictions: YES
Fiji is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), a FATF-style regional body. Its most recent mutual evaluation can be found at: http://www.apgml.org/members-and-observers/members/member-documents.aspx?m=49b3f6d3-e03f-4d4e-a2fa-faaab935098a
ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:
Fiji’s financial intelligence unit does not have budgetary independence. The Government of Fiji should continue to implement AML/CFT measures that adhere to international standards. Fiji also should become a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The government should ensure its gaming supervision program is sufficient to properly oversee the large casino, which should start construction in 2014, and that it conducts proper due diligence on the casino’s investors and owners.