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Bank Chairman won’t face enquiry (yet), says Minister

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The Chairman of the State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) Holdings Ltd, Sattar Hajee Abdoula, whose name has reportedly been cited in the ‘Pandora Papers’ of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), will not be subject to any investigation by Mauritian authorities.

The ICIJ’s investigation had revealed a list of high- profile individuals including international stars, former ministers and heads of states who are said to have suspicious offshore accounts in tax havens.

Quizzed by l’Express on his accounts held in the BVI, Hajee Abdoula reportedly argued his shares in Light Rise International and Falcon Power Ltd were the subscription to an insurance policy which he purchased with Deutsche Bank.

Hajee Abdoula is also the CEO of Grant Thornton and Administrator of the distressed Air Mauritius.

L’Express newspaper also cited the name of Jaye Jingree, which it described as ex-PM Anerood Jugnauth’s financier and allegedly also a shareholder of Regula Limited.

Mahen Seeruttun, Minister of Financial Services, retorted that there is “nothing for the moment that justifies the institution of an investigation” into the Mauritians mentioned in the Pandora Papers.

“Just because a person has chosen to invest in a particular jurisdiction does not mean that they necessarily wanted to exploit the system.”

He added that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will not be influenced by the Pandora Papers since the FATF representatives were here in Mauritius and “have hands-on information” on our financial system.

“The FATF will not base itself on a report published by investigative journalists. The FATF is an international institution which has an established system to assess, evaluate and rate a jurisdiction’s ability and determination to combat financial crimes including terrorism and money-laundering,” Mr Seeruttun said.

So far, the names of 17 Mauritians and 37 entities of the country reportedly appeared in these documents.

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