The real cost of money laundering is not only monetary
David Lindsay, 18 June 2021
Money laundering can often be seen as a somewhat nebulous, victimless crime that doesn’t affect the everyday person. But Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit Guidance and Outreach Manager Dr Clara Borg Bonaci tells David Lindsay about how money laundering not only deprives government coffers of funds that could be used for the betterment of society, it also feeds serious predicate crimes such as the trafficking of drugs and arms, human smuggling and child sexual exploitation – ‘horribly destructive crimes that have an immense social cost’
Money laundering is often seen as a victimless crime that doesn’t necessarily affect the average person on the street. What are the ramifications of such practices on a wider scale? What are the hidden predicate crimes and what are their effects on the economy at large?
The truth is that the fight against money laundering and the funding of terrorism can be highly regulatory and involves the implementation of numerous laws, which makes it easier for us, and the entities we supervise, to sometimes forget or be disconnected from why we are actually doing it.
In its simplest form, money laundering is the process of placing funds that have been generated illegally into the financial system in such a way that they are disconnected from the criminal activity, so that even the identity of the person who conducted that crime is obfuscated and the funds cannot be immediately connected to the person or the crime.
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A long road for the FIAU: meeting Malta’s anti-money laundering commitments
David Lindsay, 09 June 2021
Earlier this week the Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL published a progress report showing significantly improved ratings for Malta in its fight against money laundering and terrorist financing from a technical perspective. Thursday’s report clearly acknowledged the progress made since Malta’s earlier evaluation, at times doing so quite openly when confirming that, “Malta was among the first MONEYVAL countries to implement the regulatory and institutional framework and conduct assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks in this area. Malta’s rating on the implementation of this recommendation has been upgraded from ‘partially compliant’ to ‘largely compliant’.”
The government has undertaken several key reforms in the wake of MONEYVAL’s report two years ago, including the bolstering of Malta’s regulatory authorities, introducing new laws and strengthening the police force’s arm responsible for investigating financial crimes. Continue reading “Article: A long road for the FIAU: meeting Malta’s anti-money laundering commitments”
With a straight face, Malta signs 87-point UN pledge to end impunity, protect journalists and prosecute corrupt politicians
Alice Elizabeth Taylor, 04 June 2021
The Maltese government has signed a United Nations declaration promising to “investigate, prosecute, and punish threats and acts of violence” against journalists, provide a “Safe and enabling environment” for whistleblowers, and ‘take effective measures” to “prevent, investigate, and prosecute” corruption involving public officials.
The declaration on “challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation” was signed yesterday at the first-ever UN General Assembly Special Session against Corruption, which started yesterday and will close on Saturday. Continue reading “Article: With a straight face, Malta signs 87-point UN pledge to end impunity, protect journalists and prosecute corrupt politicians”
Ex-top aide to former Maltese PM charged with corruption
FRANCES D’EMILIO, Associated Press, 21 March 2021
ROME (AP) — A former top government aide in Malta who was investigated by a journalist later killed by a car bomb has been arraigned in a Maltese court on charges of money-laundering, fraud and corruption.
Keith Schembri, who was chief of staff to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, entered a not-guilty plea to the charges, which stem from an investigation of alleged financial crimes going back years. Continue reading “Article: Ex-top aide to former Maltese PM charged with corruption”