The lighter way to do AML

Working as I do primarily in UK-ish jurisdictions – Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, etc. – I tend to assume that most AML regimes are much of a muchness.  (There is of course the notable exception of the US, which ploughs – or should I say plows – its own furrow on this one, with its Cash Transaction Reports and its list of predicate offences – or should I say offenses.)  But today I received an enquiry about AML training in Malta, so I thought I should check before blithely saying yes and packing my swimsuit.  And wouldn’t you know it: the Maltese AML regime is rather different.

I may be wrong – and if I am, please do correct me as it was rather difficult to get the definitive picture – but it looks as though there is no Maltese primary offence either of tipping off or of failure to report.  The only mention of tipping off is when it is committed by staff of the FIU.  Maltese fines are fascinating: if found guilty of money laundering, you can be imprisoned and/or fined between 2,329.37 euros and 2,329,373.40 euros.  (I’m not making fun of the legislation – these figures must come from somewhere logical, but it looks so odd written down.)  In my quest to ensure that I had understood the situation, I went to the regulator’s website and searched for AML guidance notes – but there was nothing, or xejn as the Maltesers say.  Perhaps I should offer my services.

Who knows whether my swimsuit and I will head to Valletta, but the enquiry was a timely reminder to me not to make assumptions about international AML regimes.  It also made me wonder why we have these differences anyway: wouldn’t it make more sense to have a global standard of AML, with everyone promoting the same risk-based approach?  Differences allow criminals and others to play regulatory – and even legislative – arbitrage to find the simplest way through the system.

This entry was posted in Legislation, Money laundering and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The lighter way to do AML

  1. Graham Thomas says:

    Hi Susan
    Interesting stuff, let’s hope that your swimsuit gets a well deserved outing!
    The fines you quoted did seem odd so I did some internet sleuthing ( my excuse is that it was a very quiet lunch hour ) and lo and behold, this all goes back to the “irrevocably fixed conversion” rate of 0.429300 that was set back when Malta entered the ERM in 2005. A nice round amount of 1,000 Maltese Lira therefore became 2,329.37 euros.
    If you’re ever stuck for something to do, it’s all explained in that very exciting read “Guidelines on the rounding and smoothing of Maltese lia amounts converted into euro” …..
    Mystery solved?
    Graham “Sherlock” Thomas

  2. Graham, you are a marvel: I felt sure that the two figures were linked, and that there would be a simple explanation, but it is so odd to see such specific numbers in the legislation. Many thanks for tracking it down for us. The deerstalker will be in the post…
    Best wishes from Susan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.