“We cannot expect honest businesses to adhere to stringent anti-money landering rules while the powerful and the corrupt run roughshod over our citizens,” said PN MEP David Casa on his appointment as the European People’s Party’s (EPP) official spokesperson for anti-money laundering legislation within the parliamentary committee for economic and monetary affairs.
Casa’s appointment followed a speech he gave during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, during which he referred to the assassination of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, whose second anniversary since her brutal assassination will be remembered next month.
“Had the institutions been more effective in combatting money laundering, Daphne Caruana Galizia, might have still been with us today,” he said.
“When our institutions fail to identify, investigate and prosecute money laundering offences it is whistleblowers and investigative journalists that end up on the front line. And in some cases it is they who pay the ultimate price. Journalists like Daphne Caruana Galizia and Jan Kuciak,” MEP David Casa told MEPs.
I have just been chosen as @EPPGroup spokesperson for anti-money laundering legislation, monitoring implementation of new AML directive.
When institutions fail to investigate, it is journalists like Daphne Caruana Galizia + Jan Kuciak who pay ultimate price. Things MUST change. pic.twitter.com/Jbts7EG60j
— David Casa (@DavidCasaMEP) September 19, 2019
Casa said money laundering was an inevitable consequence of crime. It allowed corrupt politicians and big business, human traffickers and fraudsters to enjoy their ill-gotten gains.
“And while it is often complex. Often spanning across diverse jurisdictions and involving multiple financial entities – the impact on our citizens is clear. We are being robbed of funds that should have gone to our education, to our healthcare to our infrastructure.”
“Things must change,” Casa added. “And European institutions cannot only act after charges are brought outside of Europe.”
Casa’s new role entails monitoring the implementation of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive and will lead the debate on behalf of the EPP Group on any revisions of current legislation.
“The identification of criminal organisations exploiting our financial system must be faster. Action must be expedient and decisive. And EU institutions must have all the tools at their disposal to ensure this happens,” he said.