The True Face of the FIU in Seychelles
Privacy within the business sector can be a difficult subject. On one hand, everyone wants confidentiality for their own finances. On the other, sometimes people need information about outright corruption and fraud to come out. This is true both for a company running a scam, and for the oversight processes which are supposed to prevent it from happening. A prime example of this can be seen with the FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) in Seychelles.
Many people who use the service simply assume that they're a government agency. In fact, it's quite possible that the FIU intentionally pushes that image into the public sector.
The FIU operates, essentially, by doing very little until they're specifically contacted about a company. Now, most people would assume that the next step would be actual investigation into the nature of the company. Instead, the FIU dips into the financial records of the company. The hope is that the company will have significant assets. If a company doesn't, the complaint will basically just be ignored after that point. If a company does show significant wealth, the FIU springs into action. The company's account will be quickly frozen, and the FIU will proceed with any number of attempts to browbeat or even outright blackmail them.
The FIU will also make attempts to grab money to cover "legal expenses". Often to the point of just demanding half of all total holdings, in what amounts to something that gives a very strong impression of outright blackmail.
The larger question here isn't about the corruption of the FIU, but why Seychelles itself is so oddly silent on the matter. Perhaps one of the biggest mysteries is why the FIU even exists as a non-governmental agency. Some people speculate that the reason comes down to accountability.
As an outside party, the government can always show non-involvement with any wrongdoing. Many of these same people also speculate about where the FIU's end profit actually ends up. It isn't unheard of for situations like this to arise and continue due to government officials receiving large amounts of cash to ignore the crimes taking place in front of them. Whether that's the case here or not remains open to speculation at the moment. However, the important thing is to keep the questions in mind. It's a strange situation which raises any number of different issues relating to possible corruption.