Malta and Phillipines remain on FATF grey list

| By Nosa Omoigui
Global anti money laundering body the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has kept Malta and the Philippines on its grey list, which consists of jurisdictions which require increased monitoring, though it noted that both had made progress in AML measures.
FATF keeps Malta on grey list

The pair were placed on the list back in June after FATF deemed them to have “strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing”.

Malta subsequently made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and MONEYVAL to strengthen the effectiveness of its AML (anti money laundering) and CFT (counter terrorist financing) regimes, although FATF said it will have to continue to do so in order to be removed from the list.

FATF said: “Malta should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, including by continuing to demonstrate that beneficial ownership information is accurate and that, where appropriate, effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions, commensurate with the money laundering and terror financing risks, are applied to legal persons if information provided is found to be inaccurate.”

FATF also suggested that those who do not supply the necessary information should be met with “effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions”.

Among Malta’s suggested actions going forward was making greater use of its Financial Intelligence Unit’s (FIU) in order to support authorities pursuing criminal tax and related money laundering cases, and producing intelligence to help the Maltese authorities better identify high risk cases.

With regards to the Philippines – which was placed on the list in June due to “risks associated with casino junkets” – FATF claimed the country had “taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime”, doing so by developing and implementing guidance on delistings and the unfreezing of assets.

However, it added that it must show more work in the implementation of its action plan, particularly around junkets.

FATF said: “The Philippines should work to implement its action plan by demonstrating that effective risk-based supervision of DNFBPs (designated non-financial businesses and professions) is occurring, demonstrating that supervisors are using AML/CFT controls to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets, and implementing the new registration requirements for MVTS and applying sanctions to unregistered and illegal remittance operators.”

The body also suggested that the Philippines could increase its use of financial intelligence money laundering investigations and prosecutions in line with risk.

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