The Supreme Court annulled on Friday May 24, 2024 a judgment of the Financial Crimes Division (FCD) of the intermediate court, dated September 29, 2021, i.e. a first instance judgment acquitting SBM Bank (Mauritius) Ltd (SBM) in a lawsuit brought against the bank by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The banking establishment was prosecuted for having accepted a cash payment above the limit of Rs 500,000, authorized by article 5(1) of the Financial Intelligence and Anti Money Laundering Act (FIAMLA). The bank was accused of having accepted 20,000 euros (or approximately Rs 810,000) in cash from a customer. Offense committed on October 20, 2008 at the SBM branch in Plaine-Magnien.

The SBM, in its defense to the ICAC, recorded by its supervisor Iswarduthial Basant Rai, maintained that the client had handed over the said sum in cash to the bank to exchange it into Mauritian rupees, an amount which was credited to the bank account of this one from the SBM. The client stated that the money came from her income from a job in Sweden and presented supporting documents. On September 29, 2021, the FCD concluded that the transaction was “exempt”.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appealed the judgment acquitting the SBM. On appeal, the DPP insisted on four of the seven grounds initially presented on appeal.

Judges Karuna Gunesh-Balaghee and Denis Mootoo, in their decision, noted flaws in the FCD's interpretation of the elements of an “exempt” transaction. The case was sent back to the FCD for a new trial.

Leave a reply below

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Contact Business

Captcha Code