It is now illegal for people in Malta to carry out cash transactions worth €10,000 or more when carrying out transactions involving property and other valuable items.
In an attempt to clamp down on money laundering, Malta yesterday published a legal notice, implementing cash restrictions that were several years in the making and was announced in the Budget for 2020.
Besides property, a €10,000 cap has also been applied to antiques, jewellery, precious metals, precious stones, pearls, vehicles, seacraft, and works of art.
Any person found guilty will be liable to a fine of not less than 40% of the sum of money they paid, received or transacted in cash. Therefore if someone is found to have paid or received €20,000 in cash for one of the aforementioned items, they will have to pay at least €8000.
If they’re found to have paid or received €100,000 in cash, they will have to pay at least €40,000.
Making large-scale payment for goods with cash remains challenging to trace, providing an ideal cover for the source of inexplicable quantities of money.
In January, Times of Malta reported that Malta was going to introduce a €10,000 cash limit after being pressured by Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s body which is set to review the nation’s money-laundering regime this year.
A failure to pass the test could see the island grey-listed, which financial experts have warned will seriously damage Malta’s appeal as a global financial centre.