Malta has launched a national plan aimed at combating financial crimes, including money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
“Malta is deeply committed to preventing, detecting, and prosecuting money laundering and terrorist financing activities. We have therefore put in place an institutional framework to supervise, gather intelligence on, and take all necessary action against financial crimes,” stated Finance Minister Edward Scicluna while launching the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism strategy and plan at the Archaeology Museum in Valletta.
Prof. Scicluna acknowledged that the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework can be further strengthened to be more effective.
He said that the Maltese authorities had conducted the national risk assessment through a collaborative process involving all key stakeholders and using the World Bank’s national money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment tool, with the involvement of a reputable international consulting firm.
Prof. Scicluna explained that the strategy highlights seven initiatives, broken down into approximately 50 actions, to be implemented over the next three years. He said that Malta has already started implementation with the establishment of a National Coordination Committee, with its own permanent secretariat.
Minister Scicluna stated that the strategy comprises seven key initiatives which are to: (i) establish a national coordination mechanism, (ii) strengthen and clarify the supervisory framework, (iii) enhance internal capabilities of the financial intelligence unit, (iv) enhance investigation and prosecution capabilities, (v) establish an effective asset recovery unit, (vi) increase transparency of legal entities and arrangements, and (vii) build on the existing international co-operation setup.
“The competent authorities are well prepared and ready to start implementing the action plan immediately. We are determined to see through that the strategic initiatives are carried out by 2020 so that Malta remains a safe country and maintains the stability and integrity of its economy.”