Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) has managed to strengthen AML/CFT practices in the country. The authority recently shared a report of its achievements during January and July 2020.
Firstly, the FIAU has maintained regular interactions with other European and International authorities to share intelligence even when there were travel restrictions. The authority has also worked consistently to transpose EU’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive into Maltese law. Moreover, the FIAU attended three meetings of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (EGMLTF). While the first of these meetings was held in February when there were no travel restrictions, the other two were held virtually in May and June.
During this time period, the FIAU has also helped with the development of the EU-funded project PROTAX (New Methods to Prevent, Investigate and Mitigate Corruption and TAX Crimes in the EU). Additionally, the authority has published as many as six pieces of guidance for various stakeholders including VFA agents and VFA service providers, real estate agents, notaries and the gaming sector.
During January-July 2020, the FIAU’s Compliance Monitoring Committee held 37 meetings, continuing them virtually during lock-down. Moreover, the FIAU successfully reduced the average time taken for intelligence analysis to a third of the average time taken in 2018. With this achievement, the FIAU also met a Moneyval recommendation issued in July 2019.