Government says it is determined to act against money laundering and terrorism financing activities
The Government said it is determined to prevent, trace and take action against money laundering and terrorism financing activities, while it notes and implements the recommendations that will be made by the Council of Europe’s committee on money laundering prevention, Moneyval.
The Government expressed its disappointment that the Moneyval confidential report, which still has to be finalised, was revealed by a local paper before its publication next September.
The Maltese Government said it will implement the Moneyval’s report recommendations, adding that some of them are already being implemented.
A report transmitted in the broadcasting media, which the Government said was broadcast before the official publication of the report, pointed out that the Council of Europe gave the Maltese Government one year to regularise itself on controls against money laundering or may possibly face a blacklisting risk.
The scrutiny on the year period was made by the Committee of Experts and Evaluation of Measures against Money Laundering, which is responsible for the scrutiny of processes used in the fight against Money laundering in 47 Council of Europe member countries and reports directly to the CofE Committee of Ministers.
In a statement, the Finance Ministry said that Malta is committed to prevent, trace and take actions against activities related with Money laundering and terrorism financing.
While expressing its disappointment for the release of the report before its formal process ended, the Ministry said the Government will implement the recommendations made in the Moneyval report, which will be added with a number of initiatives already taken as part of the national strategy against money laundering.
In another statement, Nationalist Party spokespersons Mario De Marco and Kristy Debono said that the report’s consequences are very serious on the financial services sector, and called on the Government to clarify the action it will take to address the shortcomings identified in the report. They added that one of the most factors of concern is the collapse of national institutions who should fight money laundering, which in their view failed to carry out their duties. The Opposition spokespersons stated that this development is another confirmation of Minister Edward Scicluna’s record, who they said failed to protect the financial services sector.