Malta
HELEN M BUSHE (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Press release


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Fair and thorough investigation urgently needed

Malta / Money Laundering


MEPs have today held a debate on the Panama Papers and the rule of law in Malta in the presence of Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat. Prime Minister Muscat faces allegations that senior members of his government were involved in money laundering. Despite several senior officials being implicated in the Panama Papers, there has to date been no major inquiry and the named officials remain in post. Despite several reports from the the Maltese Anti-Money Laundering intelligence unit (FIAU), prosecution procedures have not been opened.

The financial and economic policy spokesperson for the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, Sven Giegold says that the EU Commission must initiate an investigation into whether the Maltese Government has violated the EU money laundering directive.

“The Maltese government officials face serious allegations that they are either passively allowing, or directly involved in, money laundering. Prime Minister Muscat did little to dispel these suspicions today. The European Commission must quickly investigate whether Malta has violated EU anti-money laundering rules and complied with EU rules for bank licensing. If the suspicions are confirmed, the Commission would surely have no choice but to initiate an infringement procedure. Until now, the Maltese government has been highly reluctant to cooperate with the Panama Papers investigation underway in the European Parliament. They cannot continue to stall and must provide evidence before the committee.”

Greens/EFA member of the Panama Papers inquiry committee Eva Joly adds:

"We expect to see action in Malta, too. If Prime Minister Muscat is serious about removing any suspicion, he must initiate a thorough inquiry into these allegations, sparing no one in his inner circle. The Maltese Police Commissioner must likewise be instructed to start formal investigations into the allegations of money laundering."

Background

Revelations by the ICIJ consortium in April 2016 showed that politically exposed members of the Maltese government (Minister Konrad Mizzi and Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister, Keith Schembri) owned shell companies in tax havens. The Greens/EFA group has written to the European Commission to check whether Malta has been compliant with the Anti-Money Laundering Directive and with the Capital Requirements Directive prescribing the licensing of banks.

Link to our letter to the Commission asking for infringement investigations: https://www.greens-efa.eu/files/doc/docs/d7ae196d2884443fa16edda2e4b82c09.pdf
Background briefing on European Parliament Plenary Debate on Malta: https://www.greens-efa.eu/files/doc/docs/68cebd7becd78e9de4d6be7d251120d0.pdf

Los Verdes exigen una investigación sobre el escándalo de corrupción sistémica en Malta

Malta/Blanqueo de capitales


El Parlamento Europeo ha debatido en su sesión de hoy sobre los Papeles de Panamá y el estado de derecho en Malta en presencia del Primer Ministro maltés Joseph Muscat. Las revelaciones de los Papeles de Panamá involucraron a miembros del gobierno maltés como el Ministro de Turismo Konrad Mizzi y al jefe de gabinete del Primer ministro Keith Schembri, en casos de blanqueo de capitales. Estas sospechas fueron confirmadas por la Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera de Malta. Sin embargo, la policía -nombrada directamente por el gobierno- no ha realizado sus labores de investigación, permitiendo a las personas afectadas esquivar cualquier responsabilidad legal por el caso.

Sobre este escándalo, el eurodiputado de ICV Ernest Urtasun miembro de la comisión de investigación del Parlamento Europeo sobre los papeles de Panamá ha declarado:

“Estamos delante de un caso de corrupción sistémica. El Primer Ministro está negando evidencias de blanqueo de capitales por parte de su gobierno y a la vez impide una investigación sobre el caso. El Parlamento Europeo está investigando los Papeles de Panamá, así que vamos a intervenir en este caso y a exigir toda la información necesaria y a incluir este caso en el mandato.

Este caso es especialmente relevante porqué Malta actualmente ostenta la presidencia de turno de la UE y está negociando en nombre del Consejo, por ejemplo, la revisión de la directiva contra el blanqueo.

La Comisión Europea debe analizar en profundidad si este país ha violado o no la directiva sobre el blanqueo e iniciar un proceso de infracción si se ha vulnerado. Del mismo modo, deberá asegurar que se haya respetado el estado de derecho y el gobierno no haya bloqueado ninguna investigación judicial.”

Letter to the Commission on Malta: https://www.greens-efa.eu/files/doc/docs/d7ae196d2884443fa16edda2e4b82c09.pdf
Briefing and Key requests  https://www.greens-efa.eu/files/doc/docs/68cebd7becd78e9de4d6be7d251120d0.pdf