VALLETTA, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The government is looking into having a bigger institution to cope with money-laundering at a large scale, Malta's Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said on Thursday.
Speaking at FinanceMalta annual general conference, Scicluna said that the financial watchdogs had started out with only a few of experts in Malta.
"We are looking at institutional arrangements to address organized money laundering at a large scale which is carried out in banks and discovered by the MFSA (Malta Financial Service Authority) or FIAU (Financial Service Analysis Unit). We will need to have a much bigger institution than present to deal with the issue," said the minister.
He added that Malta also supports an EU-wide institution to deal with anti-money laundering activities.
"We don't have an EU institution which oversees anti-money laundering efforts... Malta is in favour of it," he said.
FinanceMalta is a public-private initiative set up to promote Malta as an international financial center. Innovation in the financial services industry is one of the key topics at this year's annual conference.
During the meeting, police economic crimes unit head Ian Abdilla said that while most forms of crime in Malta had registered a decline in the past years, when it comes to financial and cyber crime, it was on the rise.