The Malta Independent 26 May 2019, Sunday

Strategy plan to combat money laundering, financing of terrorism launched

Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 14:10 Last update: about 2 years ago

The government today launched the National Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) strategy plan, which will be overseen by a committee.

The strategy, announced by Minister Edward Scicluna and described as a major step forward for the country, is founded upon a National Risk Assessment that was conducted in a collaborative process involving a number of key stakeholders.

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The announcement comes after the government had transposed the EU’s fourth anti-money laundering directive towards the end of last year.

It is has been designed according to four key design principles; tailored by taking into account the specifics of Malta’s social, political, financial, and institutional demographics; risk-based by focusing on work with the highest vulnerabilities; well-governed by assigning oversight and responsibility to each action; and actionable.

The strategy comprises of seven key initiatives:

1.      Establish a national coordination mechanism responsible for defining the overall strategy and its implementation.

The committee will be supported by a dedicated Secretariat, and will be chaired by a permanent secretary with the Finance Minister, and will involve Permanent secretaries from the Ministry for Home Affairs and the Ministry for Justice.

The heads, or their deputies, of the MFSA, MGA, the FIAU, the Asset Recovery Unit, and the Police will also sit on the committee.

Further details will be published in the government gazette tomorrow.

2. Strengthen and clarify the supervisory framework by extending the breadth and depth of supervision and resources.

3. Enhance the internal capabilities of the financial intelligence unit (FIAU), through human resources and greater access to databases.

4. Enhance the investigation and prosecution capabilities, including resources, of the relevant authorities.

5. Establish an effective asset recovery unity with a well-equipped agency to focus on the tracing, confiscating, and managing of assets.

6. Increase the transparency of legal entities and arrangement, in particular with regards to UBOs.

7. Build on existing international cooperation.

The initiatives will be completed by 2020, the Minister added.

The stakeholders involved with coming up with the strategy were the Ministry for Finance, Ministry for Justice, Ministry for Home Affairs, Ministry for Social Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, FIAU, MFSA. MGA, Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations, the Police, the Customs Department, the Office for the Attorney General, the law courts, the Asset Recovery Bureau, the Sanctions Monitoring Board, and the Commissioner for Revenue

 

Photo Michael Camilleri

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