Finance Minister Edward Scicluna on Thursday failed to condemn the police’s apparent failure to act on reports sent to it by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU).

While the FIAU produces analytical reports about suspected money-laundering, it is up to the police to investigate them as the agency has no law enforcement powers.

Asked repeatedly if the police’s failure to follow up reports about the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri undermined the FIAU's work, Prof. Scicluna failed to directly answer the question.

The FIAU in 2016 sent two reports to the police in which it outlined suspicions that Mr Schembri was involved in money laundering.

Economic Crimes chief Ian Abdilla said in February that the police were planning to take “further action” after analysing the reports.

Another leaked draft report highlighted the FIAU’s suspicions that Dr Mizzi was involved in “suspicious” activities linked to his Panama company.

On the leaked reports, Prof. Scicluna said a serious whistleblower who wanted to leak documents for a valid reason would have gone to a magistrate.

Prof. Scicluna said he doubted the intentions of the “so-called whistleblower”, seeing that the person decided instead to go to former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil.

The leaked reports about Mr Schembri were presented to the courts by Dr Busuttil last year, triggering two magisterial inquiries.

Questioned about the FIAU’s breach of the third anti-money laundering directive in 2016, Prof. Scicluna said the FIAU disagreed with the European Banking Authority’s conclusion.

The Finance Minister said he was not defending Pilatus Bank.

“I am defending the FIAU, which I believe in.”

Addressing a press conference later, Opposition leader Adrian Delia again demanded Prof. Scicluna’s immediate resignation.

He said the Finance Minister had blamed everyone but himself for the EBA’s findings.

Dr Delia said that every day Prof. Scicluna stayed on would prove to be an embarrassment for Malta.

In a reply, the Labour Party said Dr Delia could not be credible when he spoke about money laundering as he opted to defend MP Mario de Marco who represented a company which faced serious money laundering accusations.


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