FATF, an independent international body is in serious turmoil after its Executive Secretary or Leader, David Lewis, resigns over claims that appear to be linked to political interference in the operations of this organization. It seems that there was political pressure and/or interference in its operations, which seem to have hampered Lewis from doing his job properly. Some months ago, Lewis stated that he did not feel comfortable protecting the reputation of an institution meaning the FATF when in truth, there appears to have been “improper influence” as to which countries should go on the greylist and which should not.
This is important news for Malta as our country had been greylisted by this same organization. As a former colony, we, the Maltese, took what FATF was telling us a gospel truth when it is now clearly appearing that Malta was just another scapegoat. This organization, which greylisted us, seems to be lacking in professionalism to the extent that Lewis urged the member states of FATF “to protect the secretariat and its professional status… so that it can continue to protect and serve you, the FATF, without fear or favour.”
While FATF defines this resignation as “an internal matter for the FATF and the OECD”, it is definitely not so. Citizens of countries – like Malta – who have been hit by FATF have the right to know what is going on in these two organizations and whether greylisting Malta was simply politically motivated to penalize a small country like ours for not serving the interests of some more important power that be. Marcus Pleyer, who is now representing FATF, owes our country an explanation.