Expanded list of Maltese PEPs extends scrutiny to much larger pool of connections

The conduct of the personal financial affairs of many Maltese individuals is set to become much more complicated, at least on paper, after the publication of a new list of Maltese PEPs adds a new layer of connections.

Family members and close relatives of PEPs have now also been placed under enhanced scrutiny, a spokesman for the Financial Intelligence Analyses Unit, told The Shift.

In reply to questions about why the list was published now and whether this had anything to do with the greylisting, the FIAU said that this has become a new legal requirement.

“The list of designated PEPs recently published by the Ministry is the first of its kind. The requirement for each EU member state to issue a list of functions which within each individual state are to be considered as ‘prominent public functions’ was introduced by the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive,” the FIAU explained.

“This list complements the general definition of prominent public functions which already existed in the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations, and which has always been transposed directly from the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Directives.”

The new list, adapted to the local situation, includes senior politicians such as the Prime Minister and his Ministers, political party leaders and administrators.

It also classifies as PEPs all chairmen and directors of public entities, including those in non-executive roles, the Commissioner of Police, the Head of the Armed Forces, Permanent Secretaries, and many others.

All those in the list will fall under the radar of supervisory authorities and regulators, such as the FIAU, MFSA and the Central Bank, each time they are involved in any substantial financial transaction. The added measures are intended to strengthen surveillance for possible corruption and any funds deriving from crime.

FIAU said that the additional scrutiny will be applied not only to spouses and legal partners, but also to their children and their spouses or legal partners and the PEPs parents.

Government ministers are already considered PEPs and subject to strict controls on all financial transactions, even the most simple, such as opening a bank account, however the new regulations mean his/her spouse, children, their spouses and parents will also have to submit to the same rigorous process of enhanced due diligence.

Most functioning democracies already have this system in place: Malta is now being required to fall in line with them to start the long and complicated road off the FAT’s greylist.

The comprehensive list of PEPs has been published in the Government Gazette: https://www.gov.mt/en/Government/DOI/Government%20Gazette/Government%20Notices/Pages/2021/04/GovNotices0604.aspx– see Number 437.

It includes people in the highest levels of government, such as the President of Malta, government members, permanent secretaries, and chiefs of staff of ministers and parliamentary secretaries, as well as those in executive positions in political parties, the whole of the judiciary, top civil servants, all ambassadors, the governor of the central bank and many others.

All CEOs of government entities and members of their boards of directors are now being considered PEPs and subject to the enhanced scrutiny that entails.

                           
                               
guest
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Malta is chaos
Malta is chaos
4 months ago

The “funny” thing is that this list is treated by the FIAU as a closed list, albeit it does not include those individuals appointed by the government to entities owned by the Maltese government abroad nor the Foundations or Trusts set up by the government locally nor local companies that are controlled by the government (like BoV).

John
John
4 months ago

Does this mean that FIAU’s Director Kenneth Farrugia will now investigate Rosianne Cutajar?

Or does it mean that FIAU’s Deputy Director will investigate Konrad Mizzi?

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
4 months ago

It’s useless to have a list of PEPs and the police stops short of investigating them. The longer the police takes to investigate certain people, the longer Malta will stay grey-listing.

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
4 months ago

The question that could now be asked is: Are the FIAU elements equipped well enough to tackle the job they have been asked to undertake?

When the field of PEP investigations was much more limited, those elements could hardly – for some reason or other – appear to be competent enough to keep up with the thorough investigations required of them.

James
James
4 months ago

Call me cynical if you will, but isn’t this yet another classic case of trying to close the stable door long after the horse has bolted??

What is the point of appointing agencies which have demonstrably and lamentably failed to deliver on their statutory obligations to uphold the law and protect the victims of their failures to deliver on those statutory obligations for so many years since the Panama Papers and Daphne’s exposures identified those involved to now expect the biggest U turn in Maltese history?

Pathetic attempts again by the untouchables to try and convince the watching world that things are changing.

Too little and far too late and only when these crooks are behind bars might the FATF etc be persuaded this is for real rather than window dressing.

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
4 months ago

The next immediate decisiom for Government, is to make it obligatory for all Politically Exposed Persons, to file an annual declaration of assets together with the annual tax declaration, and to give rights of access and publication, to journalists.
This is a measure which should be imposed by the FATF, before reviewing Malta’s grey listing.

Joseph
Joseph
4 months ago

There are still red listed politicians roaming around. How can we believe this black on white from grey listed politicians.

D. Borg
D. Borg
4 months ago

FIAU should be sued for the utter waste of time and administrative costs it is lumping on all operators – let alone the taxpayer funds it is gobbling up to pay its staff’s handsome salaries and astronomical consultancy fees……..
at least, until the likes of Mizzi and Muscat remain scot free.

carmelo borg
4 months ago

issa bhal johnny cash hu meqjus PEP? jew sar bniedem komuni?

Related Stories

Legal experts slam ‘reprehensible’ new law on court judgements
Two legal experts condemned as “wholly reprehensible” a new
State Hospitals deal: Taxpayers €300 million – Steward €0
By the end of next year, taxpayers will already
Support investigative journalism that speaks truth to power.