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After one year of being included in the FATF gray list, the global action committee has voted Malta off the list of untrustworthy financial jurisdictions
The financial action task force removed Malta from the gray list on Wednesday. The FATF vote is confidential, and the outcome will not be made public until the completion of the plenary session on Friday afternoon. However, according to the Times of Malta, the financial regime was given the green light in a high-level plenary vote in Berlin.
When a country was placed on the gray list, international assessors and organizations scrutinized it more closely. Malta was removed from the list four months after the FATF publicly said that the first indicators showed Malta had substantially completed the necessary reforms and looked to have resolved the identified inadequacies.
Malta has been called upon to make many reforms to the way it fights tax evasion, collects information on ultimate beneficial ownership, and exchanges data with local and foreign agencies.
These flaws were at the core of a FATF’s plan of action that Malta had to complete before the global anti-money laundering group gave it a clean slate. The vote was taken with 37 jurisdictions and two regional firms, the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation were involved that are said to be the verified members of the Financial Action Task Force.
The vote was held on the resolution provided by the draft.
Malta was added to the gray list of the global anti-money laundering in June 2021 in response to the lack of reactions to the financial crimes in the country. At that time, Prime Minister Robert Abela said that the decision was “unjust”. He promised to improve the reforms for financial wrongdoing.
The graylisting decision came in the years of international criticism of Maltese policymaking. It also added the response to selling Maltese citizenship against top government officials who are suspected of corruption.
In other words, the FATF advises the international community to avoid doing business with blacklisted countries or to do so only under strict conditions. Currently, only North Korea and Iran are on the blacklist of the global watchdogs
According to the FATF’s second public publication, the process of “Improving Global Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: On-going Process,” is referred to as the “graylist” unofficially.
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