The Malta Financial Services Authority has released the first edition of its Oversight Newsletter, highlighting measures taken to combat financial crime.
According to the MFSA website, the stated aim behind the newsletter is:
“The Aim of this newsletter is to inform all stakeholders about the progress that is currently happening to strengthen our financial regulations and also to meet international obligations in the fight against Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, as requested from international institutions such as the MoneyVal, the Venice Commission and others.”
The newsletter reveals that Customs illegal cash seizures increased by 560 per cent from 2018 to 2019, with €1.55 million in undeclared cash seized in 66 cases.
The Malta Business Registry confirmed that 1,654 companies have been struck for non-compliance as at February 2020.
According to the newsletter, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit tripled pecuniary fines for AML/CFT breaches in 2019.
The national AML/CFT regulator imposed €3.9 million on subject persons in relation to breaches of their anti-money laundering and combatting financing of terrorism obligations, representing a 190 per cent increase on the previous year and a 700-fold increase on 2017.
The FIAU also reported receiving 2,778 suspicious transaction reports in 2019, representing a 157 per cent increase on 2017 and 65 per cent increase over 2018.
The MFSA has announced the appointment of David Eacott as Head of Banking Supervision, following a 22-year career at the Bank of England.
The Malta Gaming Authority imposed a €2.34 million fine on Blackrock Media Limited for ‘operating gaming services through a Maltese legal entity without being in possession of the necessary authorisation.’ The penalty follows a joint investigation carried out by the MGA together with Malta’s executive Police force.
For the full newsletter, click here.