New report bashes Malta’s anti-money laundering rules

The monitoring body of the Council of Europe gave Malta a poor grade in a draft evaluation.
The monitoring body of the Council of Europe gave Malta a poor grade in a draft evaluation.

A new report from European watchdog Moneyval says that Malta should implement more regulations to fight money laundering.

Malta.- The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, also known as Moneyval, has released its evaluation of the anti-money laundering regime in Malta. The monitoring body of the Council of Europe gave Malta a poor grade in a draft evaluation, and the local government says it will implement changes before the final score.

Moneyval assessed compliance in Malta with the international standards to fight money laundering and the effectiveness of rules implementation. The report highlighted Malta’s risks when it comes to large banking and online gambling sectors.

The monitoring body indicated that local police rarely took advantage of information to trace criminal money. It said that Malta wasn’t doing enough to fight money laundering risks in online gambling.

Despite the harsh evaluation, government ministers issued a statement and said they were happy with the progress made so far. They added that they would prepare a one-year plan to implement Moneyval’s 58 recommendations, and expressed their commitment to tackling money laundering.

Gaming in Malta amounts to 13% of the overall economy

According to the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the gambling segment accounted for 13.2% of the total overall economic activity in the country in 2018. The figure is nearly two points better than 2017’s and shows the segment is the fourth-highest producing sector in Malta.

Malta gaming companies went down from 287 to 273, but it was due to a new licensing scheme. By this, several companies now operate under one single licence, held by a single operator.

Furthermore, the MGA revealed 6,794 jobs come from Malta’s gaming industry. The figure is up slightly from 2017’s 6,673. The online segment generated 5,950 of them and companies are even struggling to find qualified workers.

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Malta regulation