IMF, World Bank offer assistance for anti-money laundering reforms to offshore financial centre

Laundering Dollar Bills. Photo:

IMF and World Bank ready to aid in reforms to have Vanuatu removed from the ‘grey’ list of countries needing to update anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism reporting for which deadlines have been set for June next year. Finance Minister Pikioune was accompanied by a delegation for the annual talks Read the rest of this entry »

PNG’s largest bank, Bank South Pacific, commences operations in Vanuatu

Bank South Pacific logo

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Mystery Island a model for tourism; President replaces Police Commissioner

Cruise ship visitors disembark on Inyeug, a.k.a. Mystery Island. Photo: DFAT

Cruise ship visitors disembark on Inyeug, a.k.a. Mystery Island. Photo: DFAT

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Govt strengthens Financial Intelligence Unit; Vila mayor rebuts Opposition claims

10000 vatu note

Vanuatu is not yet being blacklisted as alleged by the Vanuatu Financial Centre, yesterday, the Office of the Prime Minister states. Vanuatu is in the process of improving its compliance processes where money laundering and proceeds of corruption are concerned. This puts us on a grey list of jurisdictions being ever more closely watched by the OECD. The government is strongly emphasizing that financial stakeholders must abide by legislation and policy directions and work with government to meet international requirements. The Vanuatu Finance Centre is seen as stubborn in its refusal to comply in various ways with legal requirements. The government Financial Intelligence Unit is being increased in strength to help compliance.

Some of the detained former MPs have been transferred to the low risk communal facility. Those with Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu almost on OECD blacklist due to lack of financial transparency; another meth lab found

Works proceeding on George Kalsakau drive. Photo: VPMU

Works proceeding on George Kalsakau drive. Photo: VPMU

Following a warning from the OECD, through their Financial Action Task Force, or FATF, Vanuatu has to lift its game on combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. We are just one step short of official blacklisting, Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu daily news digest | 11 December 2012

Radio Vanuatu begins its news coverage today with the violence between Port Vila Tannese communities spreads to Tanna. Stores were damaged in Lenakel on Sunday. Vanuatu Mobile Force officers were flown to Tanna yesterday to help the police presence there. The VMF personnel took reports and witness statements from several places on the island. A meeting with a police and VMF presence was arranged by chiefs of the areas concerned.

Daily Post today leads with news of the defeated motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Sato Kilman and comment from veteran politician Willie Jimmy Tapangararua about the floor crossing of certain MPs who had signed the motion but who returned to the Government side for the vote on it. He describes their action as “based on personal interest” and says the MPs who  crossed just want to be ministers. Speaker George Wells closed the sitting of Parliament for the Christmas recess after the debate on the motion.

Internet service providers in Vanuatu met yesterday to agree to a big improvement to the way they connect to the internet, reports Radio Vanuatu News. This is apparently the first time in the Pacific that ISPs have joined forces in this manner. The Vanuatu Government, Digicel, Telsat Pacific, CanL and SPIM are all parties to the agreement.

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Breaking news: Vanuatu accountant Robert Agius found guilty in Australian tax evasion case, jailed for nine years

Vanuatu accountant Robert Agius

Vanuatu accountant Robert Agius

Robert Agius has been sentenced to almost nine years’ jail by an Australian court for his part in an A$5 million (Vt 476 million) tax evasion scheme.

The Vanuatu-based accountant with PKF, (which changed its name to iCount after Agius’s arrest), will be eligible for parole in March 2019.

Read the full story on the Sydney Morning Herald.

Key quote:

Justice Simpson noted testimonials from Agius’s supporters that he had been a generous contributor to Vanuatu society.
“That perception of him is false,” she said, as while at the same time he had embarked on “the systemic fraud of the entire Australian society.”