AML violations resulted in a €386,000 fine for a Maltese gaming company.
A €386,000 fine has been imposed on a Malta-based online gaming company for anti-money laundering violations.
According to a report by the Maltese Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU), Online Amusement Solution Limited, an online gaming company, failed to "include considerations of all the relevant risks applicable to the company"
As reported by The Times of Malta, an on-site inspection in 2019 revealed violations of anti-money laundering regulations, resulting in a €386,567 administrative sanction.
The FIAU identified 16 player profiles whose transactions and patterns warranted further investigation. According to the report, “It was evident that the company was not scrutinising the transactions effectively.”
A 25-year-old player was suspected of suspicious behaviour that went unnoticed after he made over €17,000 using prepaid cards to place bets.
The FIAU discovered that the player had used prepaid cards to deposit over 68 times in a single month. The FIAU stated that enhanced ongoing monitoring should have been performed on this player and verifying the source of funding for the player's gaming activity and that “it should have alerted the company”.
In less than two months, a 34-year-old player deposited over €18,000 using two different payment methods, including prepaid cards. The report stated, "The company was expected to monitor the activity."
Over the course of two months, a 23-year-old player deposited over €10,000. The company suspended the account after discovering the player was using a stolen credit card, but did not notify the FIAU.
There was no information on the players' occupations or professions in 28 of the 31 player profiles examined. The remaining three files had "insufficient information," according to the report.
In addition, the FIAU found flaws in the company's interactions with politically exposed parties (PEPs). The FIAU found that the company's PEP policies were in violation of Maltese law.
The FIAU stated, "If a player were to become a PEP throughout the business relationship, the player’s new status would not have been identified." There were no records of PEP screenings carried out by the company.
The company's procedures were found to be "too generic" and "failed to include the measures," according to the investigation.
Likewise, the FIAU discovered that the company "did not provide records of any internal reporting or of any STRs escalated and indicated that discussions of any suspicions took place verbally"
By fLEXI tEAM