A corporate service provider has been fined €60,000 by the FIAU for failing to report suspected tax evasion and money laundering by its clients.

In a public notice, the FIAU said RGN Malta had failed in its duties to flag suspicious transactions to the anti-money laundering unit.

The FIAU concluded from one particular customer file analysed that RGN Malta had reasonable grounds to suspect the transactions being carried out involving a company in Singapore were connected to money-laundering and tax evasion.

Authorities have vowed to crack down on tax evasion as part of a bid to see Malta removed from the FATF’s grey list.

Zooming in on another customer relationship, the FIAU found there were reasonable grounds to suspect that the real owner of a company was hiding behind a third party.

The FIAU discovered that while a particular company was owned on paper by one individual, the company was actually funded and controlled by someone else.

Malta’s failure to properly identify the actual owners of Maltese companies was also highlighted by the FATF in its June greylisting decision. 

The FIAU and Malta Business Registry in August announced efforts to improve coordination between the two authorities when it comes to identifying the real owners of companies.

The RGN Malta fine follows on the back of a €2.6 million penalty for Bank of Valletta due to failures to properly identify thousands of corporate customers.

It was found by the FIAU that the bank had failed to properly determine the beneficial ownership of 2,442 of its corporate customers.

BOV said there was no suggestion that any affected account was involved in money laundering.

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