The Malta Workshops 2021

The Malta Workshops

The Malta Workshops
19 – 23 April 2021

Small International Financial Centres:
Vulnerabilities and Opportunities for Partnership

The Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs of Malta proudly presents The Malta Workshops, a series of virtual workshops exploring the particularities of small international financial centres, the associated challenges they face in keeping financial flows transparent, and areas where increased cooperation would bring about tangible results on the world stage.

The virtual workshops are directed at officials from small international financial centres, as well as regulators and law enforcement officers engaged in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) within pertinent regional and international organizations. The workshops will provide an interesting range of issues that are at the centre of small international financial centres’ risk exposure and policy efforts in the area of AML/CFT. The workshops will comprise presentations by a panel of distinguished speakers, as well as open debates and question-and-answer slots.

For further information or for any questions for the panellists of the five Workshops, these may be sent by email on

Workshop 1:
AML Risks of High Worth Individuals

Date: Monday 19 April 2021
Time: 15:00 CET / 09:00 EST
Link to register: themaltaworkshops1

Investment migration of high-net-worth individuals entails tailored programmes for either residency or full citizenship being granted to high-net-worth individuals in exchange for a premium fee coupled with long-term investments in a country’s financial or non-financial markets. Such programmes nevertheless entail a range of risks. For the countries offering them, these programmes may impact on compliance with the international AML/CFT standards against which countries are regularly assessed.

This workshop will highlight the inherent risks and will explore what avenues for cooperation may be warranted, such as the development of a risk assessment mechanism and of minimum standards associated with such programmes as well as the effective exchange of information for the avoidance of forum shopping.

The panel for this Workshop shall include the following distinguished guests:

Mr Igor Nebyvaev, Executive Secretary, MONEYVAL, Council of Europe
Ms Sylwia Wolos, Risk Solutions Consultant, Refinitiv
Mr Robert Obayda, Policy Advisor, Office of the Strategic Policy, US Department of the Treasury
Mr Martin Doucet, Migration Program Manager, Embassy of Canada for Malta (Rome)
Mr Alfred Zammit, Deputy Director, Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (Malta)

Workshop 2:
Implementing International Financial Sanctions on Terrorism and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Date: Tuesday 20 April 2021
Time: 15:00 CET / 09:00 EST
Link to register: themaltaworkshops2

Small international financial centres increasingly attract international trade by offering unbureaucratic and low-cost vessels, aircraft or company registration frameworks. While these business concepts generate valuable income for the offering jurisdiction they oftentimes also give rise to concerns as to the type of business that may be attracted, the transparency of the ownership and control structure of businesses or vessels, and the integrity of the commodity shipments, transactions, or business deals facilitated. International sanction-evasion typologies frequently involve these same type of business concepts.

This workshop will examine the ways by which the interest of attracting lucrative business on the one hand can be balanced with the need of preventing sanctions evasion. Best practices and possible avenues for cooperation will be explored.

The panel for this workshop shall include the following distinguished guests:

Professor Jonathan Brewer, Visiting Professor at King’s College in London
Mr Javier Caraballo, Acting Prosecutor General of Panama
Mr Neville Aquilina, Chairman, Sanctions Monitoring Board (Malta)
Dr Mariella Grech, Head of Sanctions Unit & Secretary, Sanctions Monitoring Board (Malta)
Mr Neil Bhatiya, Policy Advisor, Office of the Strategic Policy, US Department of the Treasury
Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive, Dubai Financial Services Authority

Workshop 3:
The transient nature of TCSP business and associated AML/CFT risks

Date: Wednesday 21 April 2021
Time: 15:00 CET / 09:00 EST
Link to register: themaltaworkshops3

Trust and company service providers (TCSPs) operate in most countries. Oftentimes, in small financial centres, these are used by foreign financial institutions, lawyers, accountants or other professions as a way to incorporate companies through which funds are channelled without the assets necessarily being deposited in that same jurisdiction. In many cases, the involvement of TCSPs is limited to providing economic services relating to the creation of the legal entity, or cost-efficient ancillary services. The monitoring and ongoing due diligence aspects can in practice be difficult if not impossible to implement, exposing small international financial centres to increased reputational risk.

The particularities of the TCSP sector, the associated risks, and various case studies will be explored during this workshop. Different approaches to reducing the disconnect between TCSPs and the activities of the companies they have a mandate for shall be discussed.

The panel for this workshop shall include the following distinguished guests:

Mr Emile Van Der Does De Willebois, Coordinator StAR initiative, World Bank/UNODC
Ms Simone Martin, Deputy Director, Anguilla Financial Services Commission and former Head of Enforcement BVI Financial Services Commission
Mr Barry Faudemer, Chief Executive, Baker Regulatory Services
Mr Mohamed Shalo, Director of National Polices and Risks (AML Executive Office), United Arab Emirates
Ms Alison Cortis, Senior Technical Expert, Malta Financial Services Authority, Malta

Workshop 4:
The importance of international cooperation in the criminal process to obtain confiscations and convictions for financial crimes

Date: Thursday 22 April 2021
Time: 15:00 CET / 09:00 EST
Link to register: themaltaworkshops4

By their very nature, small international financial centres are more heavily exposed to foreign criminality, either in the form of goods, valuables or other tangible property, or in form of funds or financial assets by way of transactions or investments. Criminal investigations and prosecutions typically relate to highly complex, sophisticated and trans-national schemes involving many different countries, instruments, and actors whether they be suspects, facilitators or unknowing participants. Such need for international cooperation however is a burdensome and time-consuming process that requires a substantial and dedicated effort to achieve results.

This workshop will focus on the obstacles that law enforcement and prosecution authorities regularly face, and the means by which such obstacles can be minimized and overcome, including through the strengthening of informal assistance mechanisms and channels amongst small international financial centres.

The panel for this workshop shall include the following distinguished guests, among others:

Dr Elaine Mercieca Rizzo, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, Malta
Ms Yara Esquivel, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank
Mr Jean Bernard Schmid, former Prosecutor for Financial Crimes in Geneva and substitute Judge to the Penal Court of Geneva
Ms Elisabeth Lees, National AML/CFT Coordinator, Cayman Islands
Ms Aleksandra Bobylkova, AML/CFT Advisor, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Workshop 5:
Supervision and licensing practices relating to sectors with minimal physical presence

Date: Friday 23 April 2021
Time: 15:00 CET / 09:00 EST
Link to register: themaltaworkshops5

Revenue-generating mechanisms created through legal frameworks provide for the licensing of online gaming, virtual assets service and other financial service virtual platforms with oftentimes minimal physical presence requirements being imposed on the licensees.

This workshop shall discuss the risks involved with such business concepts as well as best practices in terms of physical presence requirements and the challenges associated with the AML/CFT supervision of virtual service providers of any type. Supervisory practices that help reduce the risks will be presented and discussed.

The panel for this workshop shall include the following distinguished guests:

Mr Andrew Lebrun, Deputy Executive Secretary, MONEYVAL, Council of Europe
Mrs Sarah Wheeler, Head of its Anti-Money Laundering Division, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority
Mr André Corterier, Joint Supervisory Team Coordinator, European Central Bank
Ms Sarah Kelly, Director of Licensing, Alderney Gambling Control Commission, Guernsey
Ms Siân Jones & Mr Nathan Catania, Partners, XReg Consulting, Gibraltar

The virtual Workshop series is being organised in full collaboration with Financial Transparency Advisors GmbH.

Financial Transparency Advisors