VFIU removed from State Law Office

The Vanuatu Financial Service Unit (VFIU) has been removed from the Office of the Attorney General (AG).

Additionally, the director of FIU has now the power to appoint its staff. The appointment of staff of this important institution must be based on merit.

This function was initially performed under the State Law Office through the Office of the AG.

In explaining the amendment, Prime Minister Bob Loughman who presented the Bill for the Anti-Money Laundering and COunter Terrorism Financing Amendment Act No. of 2021, in Parliament earlier this week explained that objective of this amendment is to allow FIU to maintain its independence.

Leader of Opposition, Ralph Regenvanu expressed concerns on the reallocation of FIU from State Law Office, which is already an independent body, to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, which would be subject to the Director General and Director and also could have political influence on FIU decisions.

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