UK redlisting: ‘dangerous’ for the economy, ‘weak’ PM must take action

Malta has been slammed with the UK’s red-listing and the FATF’s grey-listing because the government has failed to take action against corruption and money laundering in its own former members, Secretary General of the EPP Group in the European Parliament and former opposition leader Simon Busuttil said in a tweet this morning.

Industry practitioner, lawyer Michael Zammit Maempel, echoed Busuttil’s words in a stark warning on Twitter that the implications of the red-listing must not be underestimated and could lead to foreign companies abandoning business dealings with Malta because the risk and associated administrative burdens are too high.

Financial services companies, lawyers and their clients are going to be hit hard by the UK’s decision to relegate Malta to its red list for money laundering and terrorist financing, Zammit Maempel wrote. “And why? Because the criminals who caused this still roam free.”

The UK’s move isn’t surprising; it’s the natural consequence of Malta’s having been dumped onto the FATF’s grey list. Similar moves have been, or will soon be, almost inevitably implemented across the globe.

Being branded untrustworthy, a haven for criminals, a threat to legitimate efforts of other countries to clamp down on financial crime, which is what the greylisting does, means no other country, bar the mavericks, is going to risk allowing its enterprises to do business here without being put on high alert that doing so could cost them dearly.

While many local politicians splutter about injustice or make ludicrous promises to get Malta off the grey list in 90 days, local industry practitioners are bracing themselves for the reality they know is coming.

The UK’s decision to classify Malta among countries like North Korea, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Iran, even if expected post-greylisting, means every single Maltese business or service provider will be regarded with the same amount of suspicion as those from the rest of the countries on the list.

“What this new law in England means is that ALL Maltese companies now start off as being “preassumed” (so to speak) of being fishy,” Zammit Maempel wrote. They will now have to “double their efforts to convince British trading partners that they’re all kosher”.

This means, he said, that anyone who works in cross-border trade is going to be subjected to much more onerous and often prohibitive due diligence checks that are likely to discourage foreign companies from trading with their Maltese counterparts.

Every time one of his clients begins a trade relationship with a foreign company, Zammit Maempel wrote, they receive a “basic questionnaire” about their business and are asked to provide things like the list of directors, the latest audited accounts and their anti-money laundering policies.

“This takes a significant amount of time to compile, and the deal can often be called off because the foreign company might remain unconvinced on the reliability of a Maltese entity,” he said.

But being placed on the UK’s red list means all of that is going to be double as hard, Zammit Maemple warned. “This means that life is about to get (a) hellish for lawyers like me who need to do this work because Britain remains a key trading partner”

The process will become “more expensive for my clients, who are now going to have to shell out more money to pay for this additional compliance process,” he said.

And it’s going to be “dangerous for the country and its economy because the number of trade deals that are going to evaporate before they’re completed is going to multiply as more foreign companies think ‘fuck it’.”

Prime Minister Robert Abela and his ministers “know that to get Malta off these lists, they must stop blocking the prosecution of Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi for corruption and money laundering,” Busuttil wrote on Twitter. “They know this very well. But they are too weak to do it.”

                           
                               
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James
James
2 months ago

Oh how the chickens are coming home to roost!!

Carmelo Borg
2 months ago

KONTINWAZJONI Prim ISTHI jekk taf

Mick
Mick
2 months ago

It’s not going to happen any time soon that’s for sure. They’ve just been given another big tranche of EU money suposidly for the recovery of Covid hit business. This will be allocated to their habibs who wield the most power, so they can continue the mantra that they are working hard for Malta. Meanwhile Burmarad still rules

Isle of the corrupt
Isle of the corrupt
2 months ago
Reply to  Mick

From Turkey at the moment

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
2 months ago

If the US, UK, Germany and Italy aren’t our friends, who are our friends?

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  saviour mamo

The only “ friends” the untouchables have will be the mafia bosses who put them there but sooner or later the gravy train will run out of money to feed their bosses and then they’ll have no friends. And they then will also become a liability and will be staring at the same fate as Daphne because they know too much??

Isle of the corrupt
Isle of the corrupt
2 months ago
Reply to  saviour mamo

Azerbaijan

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
2 months ago

Once, someone commented that before people become poorer, and struggle to have a roof over their head, Malta will not start resurrecting from the ashes brought about by a PL government, and the people will not open their eyes to see the true colour of the party they godify, and to taste the poisoned intentions of their brainwashing masters.
How very right and simply logical, yours truly was.

Winston Smith
Winston Smith
2 months ago

They got on a list,
they got on it twice.
It has laundering,
corruption, even a heist.
Labour crooks are going,
to be brought down.

They know that you stole,
They know that you killed,
They know you’ll do anything
So your pockets get filled.

Labour crooks are going to
be brought down.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
2 months ago

We are amongst the best in the world as Robert Abela predicted. LOL.

adriang
adriang
2 months ago

And the Government still refuses to publish the names of Maltese Politically Exposed Persons (heads of departments, directors, and so on).
That’s the Labour Cult for you.
Sweet words, shamefull and dangerous actions – without a care for their country.

viv
viv
2 months ago

Barely a whisper on the pravda outlets.
The third seige is being laid out.

Graham Crompton
Graham Crompton
2 months ago

Why would a UK company bother with the rigmarole, when they can find a clean country to to the deal with? Welcome to the Greylist,and many other countries will do the same,as they do not need the hassle.

Henry s Pace
Henry s Pace
2 months ago

Mr Gafà, this is your moment of truth; for you, for the Corps you lead, and for our country.

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
2 months ago

This is the type of article which makes one see oneself in the mirror of hypocrisy.
Yes, there are many shades of any colour, but one cannot call a colour with any other name.
This article shows crystal clear, as long as the crystal and our eyesight are flawless, the irredeemable situation we have all brought ourselves into, not excluding myself.
Government is sending seeds to all households, to hypocritically compensate for the destruction of nature in all forms, expecting us all to reinvent nature with a tiny seed. What we all need, are seeds of honesty, moral values and basic intelligence, to start thinking with the natural/God given brain we all have, and which has to remain immune to any man made poison.
We need to eradicate all that is bad or wrong.
Trampling on a flower may not destroy that flower, but if the seed of that flower is poison, it can only grow back into a multiple of poisoned flowers.

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