A number of businesses in tourist hotspots are being investigated for offering unlicensed currency exchange services, the financial services watchdog has said.  

On Friday, the Malta Financial Services Authority said it is looking into alleged money exchange activities that may constitute a criminal offence. 

The MFSA said it believes this is being done “especially in tourist locations”.

It is understood that the police have also been roped in as the activity is in breach of the criminal code.  

“The authority stresses that unregulated activity carries a number of risks for consumers, ranging from the potential for money-laundering to unofficial rates being used to the detriment of consumers,” the MFSA said in a statement.  

Companies authorised by the MFSA to provide services falling under the Financial Institutions Act including foreign exchange are subject to onerous requirements and regular supervisory checks, the watchdog said. 

The authority urged anyone with information on the activity to come forward.  

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