As published on newsbook.com.mt, Thursday 22 July, 2021.
Malta has been added to the UK’s list of high-risk countries for money laundering and terrorist financing, which will see businesses and individuals in Malta face stricter due diligence processes.
In an advisory note issued earlier this month, the UK Treasury said the regulations require enhanced customer due diligence on high-risk countries.
Effectively, UK businesses must now apply enhanced customer due diligence measures and enhanced ongoing monitoring in their business relationships with companies and individuals in Malta.
The UK list replicates countries listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in their ‘Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring’ and ‘High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a Call for Action’ public documents.
In regulations that came into force on 13 July, the UK removed Ghana from its list of high-risk third countries and added, Malta, Haiti, the Philippines and South Sudan.
This follows Malta’s inclusion on the FATF’s so-called grey list which sent shockwaves through the business community in Malta. In an action plan agreed with FATF, Malta has made a political commitment to focus its financial intelligence capabilities on tax evasion and money laundering and increase transparency on anonymous shell companies.
The other countries currently on the UK’s list are: Albania, Barbados, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Jamaica, Mauritius, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Senegal, Syria, Uganda, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.