Prime Minister Robert Abela has expressed that he believes Malta should never have been placed on the FATF’s greylist.
This was said during a press conference following Malta’s removal from the FATF’s greylist, which was announced earlier this week and officially confirmed today.
“I want to be clear about this – I believe that Malta should have never been placed on the FATF’s greylist,” he said during the press conference.
“We worked hard and tirelessly to finish the recommended actions, and we successfully completed the action plan while maintaining economic growth,” he said.
“This was a testament to our political will, resolve, and strong commitment,” Abela said, adding that this is a success story for Malta.
“These recommendations were not only addressed but they were addressed in a record time,” he said, with Iceland being the only other country to be removed from the list in such a short time.
“We will remain fully committed to preventing money laundering and financing of terrorism while combatting other forms of serious and organised crime,” he said. “We will continue working on these reforms in a sustainable way,” he promised.
During his speech, Abela also thanked a number of entities in Malta, such as the FIAU, the Malta Police Force, the Malta Business Registry, and the Attorney General’s office.
Malta was first put on the grey list in June 2021 due to concerns over the efficacy of its money laundering regime, particularly with regards to the use of financial intelligence to pursue criminal tax and related money laundering cases, and the accuracy of its beneficial ownership system.
The FATF grey list – officially referred to as Jurisdiction Under Increased Monitoring – is different from being blacklisted, with greylisting binding the country to working with FATF to implement the necessary reforms.
What do you make of Malta’s removal from the greylist?