The Malta Independent 11 December 2019, Wednesday

Malta welcomes MONEYVAL report findings and commits to implementation plan

Thursday, 12 September 2019, 11:17 Last update: about 4 months ago

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Michael Farrugia, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici together with Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri said today they welcomed the recent MONEYVAL mutual evaluation report that followed last year’s assessment of Malta’s effectiveness in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. 

“We reiterate our commitment to implementing the recommendations in the Council of Europe report now officially published by MONEYVAL, namely, the Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) which was drawn up following the assessment of Malta’s system as at November 2018 for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT)," they said in a statement.

Together with other stakeholders and competent authorities in Malta, we are satisfied with the progress achieved on the multi-year Strategic Action Plan laid out by Malta’s National Coordinating Committee (NCC). The NCC was established in April 2018 to implement a national strategy against money laundering and the funding of terrorism.  The Committee is composed of the most senior officials, coming from the Ministry for Finance, the Central Bank of Malta, the Malta Financial Services Authority, the Commissioner of Revenue, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, the Malta Police Force, the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, the Office of the Attorney General, the Asset Recovery Bureau, and the Malta Gaming Authority.

The National Coordinating Committee, in collaboration with twenty Maltese competent institutions, will now be preparing a one-year action plan to implement the fifty-eight MONEYVAL recommendations.  Each MONEYVAL recommendation will be entrusted to a competent institution, with a proposed set of actions in respect of each recommendation, a time frame for implementation, the resource requirements, including support and  expertise, and, where required, an appointed project leader.

These recommendations will complement the measures listed in the Strategic Action Plan, prepared following the National Risk Assessment carried out during 2017. It is to be mentioned that, so far, 35 per cent of the measures have been implemented, in line with the time-frames mentioned in the three-year action plan.  

The recent findings carried out by the Basel Institute for Governance, which classify Malta as a low risk jurisdiction for money laundering and terrorist financing, confirm our view that the issues in Malta can be addressed successfully especially through the ongoing reforms being made to strengthen our regulatory and law-enforcement institutions.

The Maltese authorities will continue to exchange information and collaborate with their peers in other countries to address this cross-border challenge. By the adoption of these enhancements and other organizational changes within our competent authorities, Maltese authorities will be strengthened and be better equipped to combat money-laundering activities and the financing of terrorism.

Malta is deeply committed to helping combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and we welcome recognition of our efforts so far, the statement said.

AML/CFT are serious, transnational issues that require cross-border collaboration. We are determined to commit even more resources towards strengthening our institutions, regulators and law enforcement agencies, to aid in this mission.

 

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