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Press Release - 22 January 2002

Jersey check on 'Mugabe money'

The Jersey Financial Services Commission has advised the Island's financial services businesses to be on the alert for deposits by Zimbabwe's President Mugabe, members of his cabinet, and associates. The advice, in the latest edition of Enforcement Update, was posted on the Jersey FSC's website (www.jerseyfsc.org) today (Tuesday 22 January 2002). Using information publicly available on the Zimbabwe Government's website, it lists 25 names including ministers, associates, and Mrs Grace Mugabe, the President's wife.

The Update adds:

"We have no reason to suppose that Jersey is being used for this. Nevertheless regulated institutions should review their files to determine whether or not they have any connection with any of the above named individuals. They will then wish to satisfy themselves that they know the customers concerned (including proper knowledge of the source of funds) and have taken any appropriate action to address any reputational risks that may arise. Should any checks conducted give rise to any suspicion as to the legitimacy of the funds, the institution should review its relationship with that customer and make any such suspicious transaction reports to the Joint Financial Crimes Unit as necessary."

Richard Pratt, Director General of the Jersey FSC said "We do receive a fair amount of business from Africa, and we make no allegations about President Mugabe or his associates. Given the actions of the United States and United Kingdom in identifying assets, this is a live issue which we think our regulated institutions and authorised intermediaries should be aware of, and if necessary contact us."

President Mugabe clearly fits the definition of a Politically Exposed Person as defined in the Commission's guidance issued in the Anti Money Laundering Guidance Update, Issue 3.

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