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Rise In Money Laundering Cases Highlights Incompetence Of Authorities

Money laundering cases are becoming a trend in Malta. Every second article in all major news outlets is about some other financial body or individual facing money laundering charges of some sort.
This isn’t your ordinary, random rise in crime that can be the outcome of recent laws or loopholes; this is the outcome of years and years of neglect by the MFSA and the FIAU.
Of course, now, because of high-profile cases like the Pilatus Bank case and other cases of significant financial bodies making international news, it looks like the authorities are feeling the pressure for overcompensation, which, surprisingly enough, is even worse.

The lack of transparency is damaging us.
This struggle is reaching multiple layers of problematic realities. Many different sectors could be involved in dealing with the implications of money laundering cases.
One of the crucial ones is the judicial system. It has been reported that during the current process of finding new magistrates for the courts in Malta, the magistrates who deal with money laundering cases have outcried more help and a workforce. How can you blame them when the number of individuals currently facing money laundering charges has reached to unbelievable 127 people?
What do the authorities need to do when looking at this conundrum? Simple. Prioritisation and transparency.
There is a feeling that a large part of the Maltese public is unaware of the government’s efforts (or lack thereof) in that field and, most importantly, is unaware of the dire implications that so many cases could have on the Maltese economy.

Examples of incompetence
When going back to the more significant cases, the biggest one being the Pilatus Bank case, you can see how it mirrors everything wrong with the authorities.
The case has been going on for four years, wasting a record number of over 10 million euros, and the authorities have yet to show in court right now as far as evidence goes. Or at least that is how mainstream media outlets have been reporting.
Why should it interest you? This case sets a powerful precedent for the country agreeing to spend unlimited tax funds on their own personal vendettas, which can be extremely dangerous when it spreads.
The Maltese public should refrain from such precedents. It will need to demand the authorities create some legal Prioritisation mechanisms, in which cases like Pilatus Bank won’t exist in this form.
The cases that drag on for more than a couple of years and have no firm evidence for actual money laundering should be closed and make room for cases that the prosecution feels more confident in and won’t have to spend millions of euros on the magisterial inquiry only to come up short.
It will help the already existent blockage in the judicial system and will for sure help the state of the economy that suffers from such investment in court hours and expensive inquiries.

It is only up to us.

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