Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, December 25, 2011

RAISE COUNTRY RISK FOR MALTA ?

The fact that ten of the maritime transport companies, sanctioned last week by OFAC as Iranian fronts, (IRISL) were headquartered in the Republic of Malta, is disturbing. This is not the first time US regulators have come down on Malta for Iranian sanctions issues. When any country in the European Union allows itself to be used for sanctions evasion, it indicates a lack of adequate supervision over both financial services professionals, and government functionaries charged with processing filings. Who was at fault here ? I would certainly like to know.

Whether this was something that nobody caught, and negligent behaviour, or something intentional, I can guarantee you that US regulators, as well as law enforcement agencies, will be taking a cold, hard look at Maltese companies in the future. For that reason alone, compliance officers charged with assessment of country risk may want to reexamine their ratings for Malta. 

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