Antonio Abdilla Zerafa / LinkedIn

Antonio Abdilla Zerafa, Head of Financial Crime Compliance at the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), on Wednesday called for greater collaboration between organisations to stand firm and effectively tackle financial crime.

This came after the financial crime compliance teams of both the MGA and Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) held a one-day bilateral meeting last week. The aim of this was to enhance collaboration and facilitate the exchange of experiences and challenges faced by both authorities in the field of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).

Mr Abdilla Zerafa described the session as “insightful”, and it also featured discussions by members of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit Malta (FIAU).

“This gathering was not just about sharing knowledge, it was about weaving the fabric of a unified front against financial crime,” he added.

He explained that during the meeting, the teams “delved deep into specific procedures, dissected common challenges, and ignited discussions on pain points” that the entities face.

“The spirit of cooperation was palpable as we critiqued each other’s processes, brainstormed potential solutions and areas of future collaboration,” Mr Abdilla Zerafa said.

He highlighted that such events underscore the importance of “inter-agency cooperation”.

“In a rapidly evolving financial landscape, standing together ensures we remain resilient, informed, and always a step ahead,” he remarked, before thanking MFSA Head of Financial Crime Compliance Matthew Scicluna and the rest of the MFSA’s team for their hospitality.

In recent months, the MGA has collaborated with multiple entities to enhance the skills of its financial crime compliance team, including joint-workshops with the FIAU.

Mr Abdilla Zerafa has worked at the MGA for more than eight years, having initially joined as an Intern in the Enforcement Directorate in 2015. He has since served in various financial crime compliance and due diligence roles at the authority, and has led its financial crime compliance department since the start of 2022. He was also named Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) at the MGA in October 2022.

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MGA Head of Financial Crime Compliance Antonio Abdilla Zerafa / LinkedIn

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