Earlier this month, the parliamentary legislative process for the transposition of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive into Maltese law was initiated following the presentation in Parliament of The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2017 (Bill 10 of 2017) (the “Bill”).
Amongst other things, the Bill provides that subject persons that feel aggrieved by an administrative penalty imposed by the FIAU to appeal such administrative penalty both on points of law and fact.
Administrative penalties may only be appealed when they exceed €5,000. The appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal (Inferior Jurisdiction) and shall be filed in within 20 days from the date when the imposition of the administrative penalty is notified to the subject person. For the purposes of safeguarding the confidentiality of information and documents relating to the proceedings, the appeal before the Court of Appeal (Inferior Jurisdiction) shall be heard in camera and the judgment shall not be published (provided that the penalty may still be subject to publication as explained hereunder).
The Bill is also proposing a change in the policy for the publication of penalties. In particular, any administrative penalty imposed by the FIAU, which exceeds €10,000 (as opposed to the current €1,500) and which has become final and due, shall be subject to publication.
Although the legislative process in connection with this Bill is still ongoing, Camilleri Preziosi Advocates welcome these changes. We are pleased to note that our Firm was a front-runner in the discussion surrounding the review process of administrative penalties imposed by the FIAU, and has always urged policymakers to introduce a more transparent review process so as not to deprive subject persons of their fundamental right at law to request a review of such penalties.