The Malta Independent 21 September 2019, Saturday

Updated: PN says high-profile corruption cases must be investigated, involved people should resign

Thursday, 12 September 2019, 15:13 Last update: about 9 days ago

In an initial reaction to the Moneyval report, the Nationalist Party today said that through its weakening of the country’s institutions, the government is putting at risk the financial services sector which employs thousands.

The government knew that experts were to come over to analyse the situation and prepare the report, and yet it did nothing to address the serious problems that exist in the way anti-money laundering laws are enforced.

The report highlights the lack of enthusiasm to investigate high profile cases, corruption and money laundering allegations involving people close to the government.

In this respect, the report says:   "In light of this, the assessment team is not convinced that the law enforcement authorities are currently in a position to effectively and in a timely manner investigate (and, if appropriate, prosecute) such high-level and complex cases, which could create within the wider public the perception that there may exist a culture of inactivity or impunity. In this respect, the assessment team notes that the NRA uses remarkably strong language as to the capacity in the Police to this effect, referring to the fact that staffing in the past had been clearly insufficient to cope with the extensive investigative commitments and that the lack of adequate resources appeared to be the main reason for the growing sense of helplessness among the officers concerned."

The PN is insisting with the government to use all available resources to investigate these cases in the shortest time possible. To ascertain transparency, the people involved should resign their public office, the PN said.

 

Labour raects, says government addressing money laundering with the “utmost of seriousnes

In a reaction, the Labour Party insisted that the government already taking the necessary steps to address money laundering, with the “utmost of seriousness”.  It pointed to the implementation of a “large number of reforms, which, among others, are those which form part of a national strategy against money laundering and terrorist financing.

“As such,” the party said, “the government did not wait for what the Nationalist Party had to say about such reforms, when its own leader is facing related allegations which he has not responded to.”

The PL insisted that the government is strengthening its institutions and pointed to the recent Basel Institute for Governance rankings which have showed Malta to be a low-risk jurisdiction in terms of money laundering.

 

The PN, Labour said, failed to mention that.

 


 

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