A Birkirkara gaming company has been fined €130,460 after a number of anti-money laundering shortcomings were uncovered.  

Olimp Limited was slapped with the fine earlier in September following a 2020 inspection by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit.  

According to public filings, the company, which has since surrendered its gaming license, is owned by Russian national Galina Reed, together with a holding company which is, in turn, owned by Reed and another holding company based in Cyprus, Anarbek Holding Ltd.

Reed also serves as one Olimp Ltd's directors, together with Sliema-based Pierre Mangion. 

In its public announcement, the FIAU said it found the gaming company to have serious shortcomings that could not only impact its operations but also the rest of the gaming industry. 

The FIAU said it also took into consideration the relatively small size of the company when deciding on the severity of the fine.  

The main issue highlighted by the FIAU was that the company's business risk assessment was only a draft. 

Although it was meant to have a full risk assessment in place more than two years ago, the draft presented had not actually identified any of the threats and risks faced.  

The company was expected to compile an inventory of risks, "both actual and potential", that its business would have been exposed to.

This is done to allow gaming companies to better detect possible financial crime and pass the information on to the authorities. 

Local gaming companies have in the past been used for suspected financial crime. 

Meanwhile, the FIAU said Olimp Limited had also not put together a proper customer risk assessment. 

Giving some examples of the issues flagged, the FIAU said that although the company should have carried out customer due diligence measures on certain players that were spending high amounts, the permanent residential address of five player profiles had not been verified.

According to local AML laws, gaming firms must carry out a customer risk assessment of clients who deposit more than €2,000. 

Their FIAU noted that ID cards of three players had also not been properly submitted. 

Three of the players reviewed were nationals and residents of a “non-reputable jurisdiction”, the FIAU added. None of these players had been adequately assessed. 

The company’s anti-money laundering officer told the FIAU that information on certain players' source of funds was being collected. 

However, during the inspection, it turned out that none of the player profiles reviewed held any information on the occupation of the player, their source of wealth and expected source of funds or the expected level of activity. 

In its concluding remarks, the FIAU said it was important that a company's anti-money laundering reporting officer is competent and adequately experienced to take on the role.  

Correction September 6, 2022: A previous reported that Mangion was one of the company's owners. He serves as a director and is not one of Olimp Ltd's shareholders. 

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