Investigating tax evasions cases is being given top priority by the police, deputy police commissioner Alexandra Mamo told a financial crimes conference on 8 July.

The Times of Malta report said the commissioner had highlighted how Malta's vulnerability to tax crimes carried out by both local and foreigners had led the police to prioritise investigating such cases.

The lack of tax prosecutions was one of the main weaknesses that led to Malta's greylisting by the FATF.

Giving a breakdown of recent tax prosecutions, Mamo said there was one prosecution in 2019, seven in 2020 and two so far this year.

She said staff within the police anti-money laundering unit had been boosted by 300%, up to 12 officers. A further eight officers are assigned to the economic crimes unit.

Kenneth Camilleri, acting director of the Asset Recovery Bureau, told the conference, organised by ARQ Group and the Malta Bankers' Association, that unexplained wealth orders were seen as the next step towards bolstering the country's abilities to seize criminal assets.

Camilleri said, however, he is "not certain" of the specific target date for the introduction of unexplained wealth orders.