Malta’s Anti-Money Laundering Efforts Proving Successful
04 May 2021
Over the past months, Malta has been undergoing reform within the sector of anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism which have been successful in improving Malta’s international reputation.
The reforms have been executed in a variety of fields. With regards to policing, a new Financial Crimes Investigation Department was set up, and a new Asset Recovery Bureau has been established for the storage of movable assets that have been recovered from suspected criminals. Furthermore, cash transactions of more than €10,000 shall no longer be allowed to take place and will be fined in proportion to the amount transacted. The amendments also included additions to the powers held by the Attorney General, such as the prosecution of major crimes, thus including money laundering. Prior to the amendments this power was held by the police. Furthermore, the Office of the Attorney General has been divided into the State Advocate and the Attorney General role in order to distinguish between the roles of advising the state and prosecuting.
Moreover, new rules have been enacted for corporate service providers including more obligations of monitoring clients and submitting information to the Malta Financial Services Authority or the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. The latter two entities have also had their resources improved to further strengthen their performance.
The Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering expert committee, more widely known as Moneyval, voted in favour of the voluminous report submitted by Malta. The positive feedback illustrates the country’s commitment to remaining a reputable and trustworthy jurisdiction.
Albeit the confidentiality of Moneyval’s report, Maltese news sources have highlighted that the report commends the significant improvements that have been put into place since 2019. The full report shall be published in the coming months.
For the final stage in the process, Malta will undergo a vote by the Financial Action Task Force, however such positive feedback from Moneyval indicates that a clear shift has occurred for Malta to continue heading in the right direction.
Get in touch with BDO's Compliance Team to Learn More