25 Jul 2019
Malta’s anti-money laundering regime has failed a review by international experts and the island now has a year to get its house in order or face potential blacklisting procedures.
Monitoring body Moneyval gave Malta just over a year to address a series of shortcomings in its anti-money laundering efforts following a year-long assessment.
The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism has been reviewing Malta’s financial laws and their enforcement since the start of 2018.
The final position on Malta was approved by the Council of Europe during a closed plenary session last week, with the jurisdiction getting what sources described as a “poor overall rating”.
Moneyval assesses countries’ effectiveness in combatting money laundering across 11 key areas, referred to as ‘immediate outcomes’.
To pass the evaluation, countries have to adopt compliant laws and regulations and prove these are being adequately enforced.
The experts can give a grade of effectiveness – high, substantial, moderate or low – for each of the 11 sections. To pass the test, a country has to get at least a ‘substantial’ in three of the 11 sections.
Sources confirmed that last week Malta only managed to secure this score in two of the sections – the implementation of international sanctions, and international cooperation.
Areas where the country was given a low grade included risk management, money laundering investigation and prosecution, and prevention of financial crime.
Sources in Malta’s government agencies, who were present for every stage of the evaluation, said that having ‘failed’ the Moneyval review, Malta would now be referred to another international body, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which would be placing the island on a list of countries to be monitored.
By Ivan Martin, Times of Malta, 22 July 2019
Read more at Times of Malta
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