SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 1 August 2021, Sunday |

Malta faces blow after being greylisted by financial crimes watchdog

The world’s money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog (FATF) has put Malta on a grey list, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Wednesday, in a move which could seriously damage the island’s economy.

Abela said during a news conference that the decision was “unjust” and promised to push ahead with planned reforms aimed at tackling financial wrongdoing.

The Paris-based inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force approved to put Malta on the grey list of untrustworthy jurisdictions during a secret vote earlier in the day, meaning that the country now is under increased monitoring.

The FATF has not yet formally revealed the decision, but Abela affirmed the move after news broke on local media.

“While I consider this decision unjust, we will continue the reform process because we are acting with conviction and believe in good governance,” he told a hastily convened news conference.

“We remain committed to making whatever required reforms while preserving the national interest. We will never be uncooperative or obstructive but will intensify our resolve to fight money laundering and the financing of international terrorism.”