Malta entered the register of unreliable gambling jurisdictions due to massive money laundering
One of the world's largest gambling centers has received a serious blow to its reputation. It turned out that the Financial Action and Money Laundering Task Force (FATF) included Malta in its "grey list" of unreliable jurisdictions. There is only one reason for this decision - the failure to implement measures to combat money laundering.
Malta joined 19 other countries, including Panama, Myanmar, Syria and Zimbabwe. This register, as indicated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), includes all jurisdictions whose investors regularly conduct tax evasion campaigns. Such behavior, according to the department, leads to a significant drop in capital inflows.
The FATF decision has already been evaluated and commented on by prominent Maltese politicians. Thus, the leader of the local opposition party, Bernard Grech, called this decision "national punishment." In his opinion, it could seriously harm the growing financial and gaming sectors of Malta.
Speaking at a specially convened press conference, Prime Minister of the island nation Robert Abela said that the organization's decision, taken by secret ballot, was "unfair ".
"While I find this decision unfair, we will continue the reform process because our team acts with conviction and believes in good governance. We remain committed to making any necessary changes while maintaining the national interest. We will never refuse to cooperate or obstruct it, but we will strengthen our resolve to fight money laundering and the financing of international terrorism,” the official admitted.
Gambling is the second largest industry in Malta, which has become a major center online games in Europe. However, some operators have expressed concern that recent scandals involving local high-ranking officials and regulators could tarnish the sector's reputation.
The country has been called repeatedly to end the sale of national passports and the lack of legal action against top management, which has contributed to the development offshore and withdrawal of money outside the country.
Recall that the authorities of 14 EU states call forto reviveGambling Expert Group.