The Malta Independent 9 December 2019, Monday

Malta will implement Moneyval report recommendations - government

Monday, 22 July 2019, 13:34 Last update: about 6 months ago

Malta will be implementing the recommendations made in the Moneyval report, the government said in a statement.

Malta is committed to preventing, detecting, and prosecuting money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Malta will be taking on board and implementing the recommendations made by MONEYVAL in the Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) following the assessment of Malta’s anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) system as at November 2018. These recommendations will be added to a number of initiatives already being taken as part of Malta’s National AML/CFT Strategy and the three-year Action Plan in the field of AML/CFT, the government said.

The MER is a report of the Council of Europe and is confidential until it is officially published by MONEYVAL. The Malta report is currently subject to the post-adoption process in accordance with the MONEYVAL Rules of Procedure and can only be published by MONEYVAL following the end of this formal process. The Maltese authorities are obliged to respect the confidentiality of the report and cannot publish or comment on the contents of the report before its official publication by MONEYVAL, which should take place in September.

The report was leaked to a newspaper and published today. It says that Malta's anti-money laundering regime has failed in a review by international experts and the government has one year in which to bring its house in order.

Since the establishment of MONEYVAL in 1997, Malta has always respected the procedures and the confidentiality of the mutual evaluation process, and this without any external interference, as should be the case. It is therefore very disappointing that this 5th round mutual evaluation exercise has been undermined by the irresponsible leaking and publication of highly confidential information, first from an early draft of the report, which has since been subject to significant changes, and now from the adopted report which is still subject to the evaluation procedures. These leaks have not only led to undue external pressures on the evaluation process but were intended to embarrass the Maltese authorities with the Council of Europe.

MONEYVAL, being a FATF-style regional body and an associate member of the FATF, conducts peer reviews of its member countries and jurisdictions on an ongoing basis as part of a global process. The scope of such evaluations is to conduct an in-depth analysis and assessment of a country’s AML/CFT system and report on the level of compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 Recommendations and the level of effectiveness of the country’s AML/CFT system. MERs contain recommendations on how the AML/CFT system can be improved and strengthened. The Maltese authorities are committed to implementing MONEYVAL’s recommendations.

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