Malta – first published fine imposed by Sanctions Monitoring Board

Malta’s Sanctions Monitoring Board (the “SMB”) has, for the first time , imposed a fine for breach of EU sanctions.

The company in question was ArabMillionaire Limited. The SMB publishes the names of all company’s fined more than €800, but the size of the fine is otherwise unspecified.

Also unspecified is the conduct giving rise to the fine, but it was said to have been identified “at the time of supervisory examination conducted between June and August 2020”.

It is unclear when the fine was issued as this information is not specified on the website and the Sanctions Monitoring Board has confirmed that such information is confidential.

ArabMillionaire operated as an online casino (trading as based in Dubai. It’s licence from the Malta Gaming Authority was suspended in October 2022, and then cancelled in October 2023.

It has been reported that alongside other regulatory failings part of the reason for these actions by the Malta Gaming Authority was non-compliance with money laundering and counter terrorist financing.

Malta – company and director acquitted of breach of Russian sanctions

It has been reported today that a prosecution in Malta for allegedly breaching the EU’s sanctions against Russia has ended in acquittal.

The investigation commenced in 2019 after a bank submitted a suspicious activity report.

The transaction at the heart of the case was the export of 142 pallets of ammunition from Russia to Morocco via a Maltese company; Donna Shipping Company Limited.

The company and one of its directors, Karl David Mallia, a qualified accountant were both prosecuted, but not any of the other directors of the company.

The court held that there was insufficient evidence that Mallia had been involved in the particular transaction.

Malta – five individuals and company acquitted of Libyan sanctions breaches

Further to our earlier post, a Magistrate in Malta has acquitted James Fenech, Bertrand Agius, Konrad Agius, Charles Bugeja,  Michael Cauchi and the company Sovereign Charters Ltd of breaching EU sanctions against Libya.

The case related to the use of outboard motor boats to bring private military personnel out of Libya. The allegation was that the vessels were included amongst those products that could not be exported or transferred to Libya.

The court held that the particular vessels included, as identified by their 8-digit Combined Nomenclature Code, were not amongst the categories of vessels prohibited under the EU’s sanctions. Accordingly, the charges were dismissed.

The company accepted a fine of €15,000 for immigration irregularities.

Malta – five charged with breaching Libyan sanctions

It has been reported today that the Maltese authorities have charged five individuals with breaching the EU sanctions against Libya.

Only one individual was named – James Fenech.

The case relates to the use of military-grade inflatable vessels allegedly used to move military personnel into, and out of, Libya.

The court has also ordered that the accounts of the companies involved be frozen.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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