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Malta put on the FATF grey list

FATF (Financial Action Task Force) – an intergovernmental institution dealing with counteractions of global money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing – has recommenced its activity upon the pause made due to COVID -19.

From the beginning of its existence, FATF as a policy-making body is concentrated on setting and improving international standards aimed at preventing the above-mentioned illegal activities on a global level. With more than 200 countries and jurisdictions committed to implementing them, FATF on an ongoing basis closely monitors countries’ compliance and continues to identify new jurisdictions that have strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.

Jurisdictions demonstrating non-compliance are being placed under the increased monitoring jurisdictions list or the so-called “grey list”. This means that such countries committed to eliminate revealed strategic deficiencies within the specified timeframes under the FATF supervision, and for the time being, they stay as listed in “grey list”.

June 2021 has been marked for Malta with enlisting to “grey list”.

Despite the fact that Malta has demonstrated progress on a number of the recommended actions to improve its AML system since the adoption of MER (Mutual Evaluation Report), some crucial points are still to be rectified.
In order to be delisted from the “grey list”, FATF expects Malta, inter alia, to:

1. To ensure the information collected regarding the beneficial ownership is accurate and up to date, and that effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions, corresponding the money laundering and terrorist financing risks apply:
  •  to the legal persons who failed to disclose the required information or where the information disclosed is found to be incorrect or incomplete;
  • gatekeepers, when they do not follow their obligation to ensure collecting of the required information with the relevant accuracy;
2. To enhance the use of the FIU’s financial intelligence to support authorities pursuing criminal tax and related money laundering cases, including by clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the Commissioner for Revenue and the FIU;
3. To strengthen the focus of the Financial Intelligence Unit's analysis on these types of offenses to ensure the financial intelligence that would assist Maltese law enforcement bodies to detect and investigate cases as consistent with the identified risks of money laundering in Malta related to tax evasion.
As of July 2021, the following countries are contained in a ‘grey list’:
Albania Barbados Botswana Burkina Faso
Cambodia Cayman Islands Haiti Jamaica
Malta Mauritius Morocco Myanmar
Nicaragua Pakistan Panama Philippines
Senegal South Sudan Syria Uganda
Yemen Zimbabwe    
FATF points out that it is not necessarily for enlisted countries to be encumbered with the application of enhanced due diligence measures, but encourages its members and all jurisdictions to take into account current regime positions of the abovementioned countries during cooperation and related risk analysis.
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