Money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing are forms of financial crime which contribute to, and affect the risk, security and management of financial systems, nationally and internationally.
From a legislative perspective, the European Union (EU) adopted the first anti-money laundering Directive in 1990 in order to address the misuse of financial systems within the EU by obliging Member States to implement due diligence practices. Along the years, this Directive has been updated to better reflect the mitigation of current and emerging risks. The 5th anti-money laundering directive, which was published in 2018, introduced a number of updated approaches to address mitigation measures related to transparency, intelligence and cooperation.
In 2020, the NSO embarked on the design of a national data collection system on money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing. This data collection has been designed to cover various aspects of the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT) regime mentioned above, while also adhering, as much as possible, to requirements outlined by international organisations such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MoneyVal).
The data collection includes information pertaining to the different stages of the domain and provides a snapshot covering all aspects and stages – such as supervisory, reporting, analysis, confiscations, prosecutions and international cooperation involved in the national AML/CFT regime. Aggregate information is collected from numerous stakeholders involved, including:
This data is collected under the Malta Statistics Authority Act (2000), which empowers the NSO to collect, compile, extract and release official statistics (refer to MSA ACT). The 5th anti-money laundering Directive establishes the collection of statistics on anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism on an annual basis, not only as a consolidated review but also as a tool to measure the effectiveness of the AML/CFT regime (refer to 5th AMLD, Article 44). The recommendations on compliance presented by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) also highlight the importance of maintaining comprehensive statistics on matters relevant to systems involved in the national anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regime (refer to FATF Recommendations).
Accuracy and reliability of data
During the compilation of outputs related to money laundering and terrorist financing, consistency and validation checks are carried out to verify and ensure the consistency of the aggregate information that has been provided by the stakeholders.
Timeliness and punctuality of data
Data collection is currently carried out on an annual basis. The collection process is launched in January (year n) of the year after the reference year under review (n-1).
The NSO is currently working on the creation of an annual news release that aims to present an overview of the national anti-money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing regime. The NSO publishes an Advance Release Calendar, which can be accessed through the NSO’s website.
Coherence and comparability/consistency of data
In order to address issues of data consistency and coherence, a number of measures have been implemented during the data collection and analysis stage. Such measures include: