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Moneyval Says Malta Not Fighting Money Laundering

Increasingly portraied as a corrupt state where investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered while probing wrongdoing at the highest level, Malta isn’t serious about fighting money laundering, according to Council of Europe’s committee on money laundering Moneyval.
Moneyval inspectors were “not convinced” that Malta effectively investigates and prosecutes high-level money laundering, bribery, and corruption cases, said The Sunday Times of Malta.
A draft version of a Moneyval report seen by the paper was a dire assessment of the country, showing there’s essentially little interest in stopping money laundering.
“Limited resources, both human and financial, allocated to the investigation and prosecution of money laundering weighs negatively on Malta’s capability to effectively fight it,” the 230-page report reads.
The story breaks a month after the agency said the country’s anti-money laundering body failed a final review by international experts from the Council of Europe and had been given a year to conform or face potential blacklisting procedures.
Among the shortcomings the report noted was the police didn’t have the resources or expertise to deal with major financial crime and the FIAU, which gathers intelligence on those crimes, was held back by deficiencies.
But the most damning account was that Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who at one point was dragged into the Galizia probe, isn’t making fighting money laundering a priority despite the government being scandalized.
The inability to fight money laundering and corruption, the report said, “could create within the wider public the perception that there may exist a culture of inactivity or impunity,” the reort added, a problem critics said is already happening.

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