Prime Minister Robert Abela has once again promised that Malta will pass a crucial upcoming money laundering regime test by the Council of Europe institution Moneyval.
“Some people are practically rubbing their hands in glee that Malta could fail this crucial test, but we will pass it, just as we had the credentials to implement rule of law reforms,” Abela told a general conference of the Labour Party.
“I will face you once again next June with concrete results in hand.”
He said Moneyval’s concerns with Malta’s money laundering regime are rooted in problems left behind by the last PN administration in 2012.
“Obviously, the administration back then was perfectly comfortable doing nothing but we have the credentials and the courage to reform. We know where we want to go and the results will speak for themselves.”
After failing a Moneyval test back in September 2019, Malta was given one year to address its shortcomings in its anti-money laundering regime. However, outgoing US Chargé d’Affaires Mark Schapiro said the timeline has since been extended by a few months in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Malta could be grey-listed if it fails this tests, a consequence that many, including the Malta Employers’ Association, have warned could be as devastating as the pandemic itself.
However, Abela has expressed confidence that Malta will pass this test, a statement that was recently backed up by Mark Schapiro.
“The reforms that are being proposed right now, I think are positive. So, I don’t think [grey-listing] is inevitable,” Schapiro told Times of Malta.