Malta has imposed a limit of €10,000 on cash transactions for the sale of property and other valuables.
The limit on cash transactions, which was introduced in recent days through a legal notice, is intended to curb money laundering activities.
Until now in the archipelago, there was no limit on the amount of money that could be exchanged, and this practice was well seen by criminals trying to hide the source of their ill-gotten gains.
The 10,000 euro limit is imposed on the sale of houses, antiques, jewelry, precious metals, gemstones, pearls, vehicles, boats and works of art.
A person found in violation of this new regulation will be subject to a fine of not less than 40 percent of the amount of money that was received, or otherwise transacted.
Criminal prosecutions for these offenses will be time-barred after a period of five years.
The introduction of the limit on the use of cash also represents a new element in the reforms implemented by the Maltese government to combat financial crime, in view of the judgment of the Council of Europe, which will have to express its opinion in a very short time on the country’s placement on a grey list of countries at risk of money laundering.
To date, most European Union countries have similar bans but with different spending thresholds, ranging from 500 euros in Greece to 15,000 euros in Poland.