|Malta's Institutions at Work by COSIMO|
This week's predictable news, that Malta's sports power structure would brook no competition for a CEO role in the local football world that it had decided was to go to former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, supposedly irretrievably fallen from grace when linked to the assassination of crusading journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, has not gone unnoticed abroad. Reportedly, compliance officers at a number of leading international banks have filed to reduce Malta's high-risk status, notwithstanding its discharge from the FATF Greylist.
Everytime compliance officers see Muscat's name pop up, they are reminded of his close ties to the now-unlicenced and shittered money laundering Pilatus Bank, and they judge prospective new clients, holding Maltese IIM (Citizenship by Investment) passports accordingly. There is even talk of considering any Maltese clients, even those that are native-born, as unacceptable risks.
It is important to remember that the United Kingdom still designates Malta as high-risk, and that Swiss NGO, the Basel Institute on Governance, concurs. The right assessment is to disregard the FATF decision, especially since not one of Malta's major money laundering players looks like they are going to face justice anytime soon, so long as the corrupt Labour Party remains in control. EU gatekeepers are correct to by suspicious regarding any large transaction into, or out of, Malta's banks, and to keep a sharp eye peeled for possible laundering of the proceeds of corruption.