The Prevention of Money Laundering & Financial Crime – A Virtual Conference

118.00 Inc VAT

Wednesday 12 & Friday 14 May 2021 | 09:00 (Europe/Malta)

Online Live Sessions

MIA Accreditation | 7.5 hours Core in terms of the Accountancy Board CPE scheme.

Past Events


Wednesday 12 May 2021

09:00 | Setting the Scene

Antonio Ghirlando | Senior Advisor on Financial Crime Compliance – Mamo TCV

This introductory session will include a brief overview of the applicable standards and provisions aimed at the prevention of money laundering and funding of terrorism.  It will also introduce key concepts and highlight some of the more important developments in the field.

09:15 | Regulatory Updates

Avv Carmela Loredana Umbro | Senior Officer Guidance and Outreach – Legal Affairs – FIAU

This session will provide a briefing on the latest changes and developments in AML/CFT legislation and guidance, and a look ahead at changes in the pipeline.

10:15 | COVID 19 – An AML Perspective

Dr Rakele Cini | Independent Legal Consultant

The COVID-19 outbreak has taken its toll across all industries, not least on subject persons, bringing about unprecedented global challenges. AML/CFT obligations have been impacted, while money laundering and funding of terrorism risks have evolved too. During this short session, Dr Rakele Cini will be delving into these aspects and the impact these have had on subject persons in Malta and elsewhere.

11:00 | Break

11:15 | Sanctions: The Growing Challenge

Antonio Ghirlando | Senior Advisor on Financial Crime Compliance – Mamo TCV

Sanctions compliance has been gaining increasing attention over recent years, and is fast becoming a critical part of a Subject Person’s compliance framework.  It is also becoming a growing challenge in view of its increasing complexity.

Besides providing an overview of sanctions (including the types, their targets and exceptions, the jurisdictional reach, etc.), the presentation will outline the local regulatory framework and detail the salient obligations imposed on Subject Persons.  It will also detail practical guidance for setting up a robust sanctions compliance programme and outline good practice.

12:15 | Corporate Governance & Internal Controls

Dr Diane Bugeja | Senior Associate – Camilleri Preziosi

As subject persons face the risk of hefty fines, regulatory intrusiveness and stricter enforcement measures, internal controls and corporate governance more broadly become increasingly important. The session will look at the key challenges that subject persons are presented with in this respect and how stronger corporate governance and internal controls can contribute towards higher AML/CFT compliance standards.

13:00 | Close of Session

Friday 14 May 2021

09:00 | Introduction

Antonio Ghirlando | Senior Advisor on Financial Crime Compliance – Mamo TCV

09:05 | KYC Challenges: How Far Must We Go? Where Do You Stop?

Asking the Right Questions to Successfully Understand Your Customer Risk.

Dr Dirk Urpani | Legal Counsel & Business Advisor – CSB Group

Entities today face the biggest challenge of balancing out their obligations at law with furthering their business development and ultimately growing the business. The presentation shall go into the practical considerations when carrying out a customer risk assessment and what can be done to mitigating the risks identified without frustrating the potential customer, whilst in full adherence to the entity’s legal obligations. The biggest focus placed by entities in relation to KYC is collecting such information at the beginning of the business relationship, emphasis must also be placed on keep such knowledge on your customer up to date on an ongoing basis. Bring these two concepts together will ensure a practical foundation is in place for the entity to avoid being hindered in its growth.

09:50 | Virtual Financial Assets: AML/CFT Risks & Mitigation

Dr Ursula Farrugia | Head Legal Team

Legal Notice 430 of 2018 extended the application of the PMLFTR to activities regulated by the VFA Act, rendering VFA Agents, VFA Service Providers and anyone offering VFAs to the public, subject persons. This entails that anyone carrying out the said activities has to comply with the obligations arising from the PMLA, the PMLFTR and the Implementing Procedures (sector-specific).

What are the risks presented to service providers and agents alike? We will be delving into how said risks can be mitigated by introducing and implementing certain measures.

10:35 | Break

10:50 | PEP’s – Why Entities Must Actively Manage Risk

Ariane Azzopardi | Director, Quality & Risk Management – KPMG

Relationships with PEPs may represent increased risks due to the possibility that individuals holding such positions may misuse their power and influence for personal gain or advantage.  Subject persons are always required to apply EDD when a business relationship or occasional transaction involves a PEP, however PEPs do not pose the same ML/FT risk and subjects persons should apply a risk based approach for PEPs and assess the different types of risks in terms of customer, product, geography and channel. The nature and extent of CDD should be appropriate to the risk that the subject person has assessed in relation to the PEP.  The session will take us through the various risks posed by PEPs and what mitigation factors should be put in place in order to address such risks.

11:35 | De-Risking & Mitigating On-going Risk

Cynthia Borg | Head of Financial Crime Compliance and Group MLRO – APS Bank

As regulatory scrutiny and expectations continue to increase and AML failures result in consistently high financial penalties, Financial Institutions seek to mitigate the threats they face by adopting de-risking strategies.  In adopting such blanket de-risking practices, Financial Institutions often generate new AML risks and challenges for the wider financial system.  Is this the only feasible approach to face and address AML risks?  Can AML risks be mitigated in a different manner?  At what cost?

12:20 | Whistleblower Protection

Dr Yanika Pisani | Senior Officer within the Guidance and Outreach – Legal Affairs Section – FIAU

The Protection of the Whistleblower Act seeks to encourage employees to disclose improper practices, either occurring within the organisation they work or in which their organisation may be involved. The FIAU is the designated authority to receive external disclosures on improper practices involving ML/FT and has established a Whistleblowing Reports Unit within its Legal Affairs Section. This presentation sets out the main provisions of the Act and the procedures for disclosing information to the FIAU.

12:50 | Close of Conference


Antonio Ghirlando is a seasoned compliance specialist with a specific focus on financial crime compliance, including the prevention of money laundering, countering the funding of terrorism, combatting proliferation finance, sanctions, anti-bribery & corruption, and fraud.  He is also well versed in other regulatory compliance obligations.

As a Senior Advisor on Financial Crime Compliance with Mamo TCV Advocates, he is actively involved in the provision of real-time operational support, specialist advice, intuitive guidance and training to several businesses seeking to ensure ongoing compliance with their regulatory obligations.  He also serves as the Group Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) as well as the Compliance Officer for the group entities authorised to act as trustees and company service providers.

During his career he has worked with various licensed entities in both the financial and non-financial sectors, having served as the Head of Compliance, Head of Financial Crime Compliance, Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) and Data Protection Officer (DPO).  He also headed the Compliance and Legal & International Sections of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) and served as the Secretary General of the Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA).

Antonio has been involved in several local and international committees, and has also presented numerous papers at various workshops, seminars, conferences and training events.  Antonio is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Carmela Loredana Umbro is a Senior Officer of the Guidance and Outreach Team within the FIAU`s Legal Affairs Section. Her team is responsible for identifying and responding to the guidance needs of subject persons and for participating in outreach efforts among the private and public sector in the area of AML/CFT. Carmela joined the FIAU in 2014 and has been involved in multiple projects related to AML/CFT. She holds previous experience in the civil and commercial law sector. Carmela studied Law at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and is a warranted lawyer.


Dr Rakele Cini is an independent legal consultant with many years of experience in AML/CFT, regulatory and compliance advisory. She primarily advises local & international firms / practitioners operating within the regulated industries on matters relating to the prevention of money laundering & funding of terrorism, due diligence, risk management, good governance, and other compliance areas. She is invited to lecture regularly by private institutions and regulatory bodies on these topics. She was previously head of Risk & Compliance at BDO Malta and, prior to that, formed part of the practice protection group at Deloitte Malta for numerous years. Rakele is an active member of the PMLFT sub-committee at the Malta Institute of Accountants and the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners.

Dr Diane Bugeja practices primarily in financial services law, financial regulation and anti-money laundering regulation, providing advice to local and overseas clients on the impact of the current and forthcoming regulatory regime on their business models. Diane also advises clients on the regulatory aspects of a wide range of transactions, including licensing-related matters, capital markets initiatives and on-going liaison with regulatory authorities more broadly.

Dr Bugeja joined Camilleri Preziosi Advocates as an Associate in 2016 and was promoted to Senior Associate in January 2017. She was previously a risk and regulatory consultant at a Big Four audit firm, working in Malta and in London, and subsequently joined the enforcement departments of the UK and Maltese financial services regulators. Diane successfully completed her PhD in Law in 2017 and her research focused on the mis-selling of complex investment products to commercial retail investors.

She is a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta and is regularly invited to speak at conferences and deliver seminars on various aspects of financial services law and financial crime.

Dr Dirk Urpani joined CSB Group as Legal Counsel and Business Advisor and CSB Legal as Legal and Compliance Associate in October 2020. Dirk graduated with a Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta in 2017 and was subsequently admitted to the Bar in March 2018. Dirk just graduated with a Master of Arts in Financial Services from the University of Malta. During his studies Dirk was a legal trainee in the International Tax Department of a Big Four audit firm. Following his graduation, Dirk moved to the legal and compliance department of a leading mid-tier audit firm. He went on to hold the role of Compliance Officer within a local VFA Agent and formed part of a boutique law firm.

Dr Ursula Farrugia read law at the University of Malta and was conferred a Doctorate of Laws in 2013, was admitted to the Malta Bar in February 2014 and was conferred a Masters in Financial Services in 2016.

In 2012, whilst writing her doctorate thesis, Dr Farrugia commenced her career as a trainee lawyer with an international financial advisory firm having its back-administration office in Malta. Dr Farrugia worked her way up and was promoted to Head of Legal and Compliance in 2015. She resigned from this post in 2018 in order to take the next step in her career by joining a boutique law firm, where she specialised in Financial Services and Fintech. Dr Farrugia now Heads the Legal Team of an international cryptocurrency service provider.

Ariane Azzopardi is a Director within the Quality and Risk Management function. She has over fifteen years’ experience in this field, and is the delegate of the Risk Management Partner at KPMG in Malta. She is involved in the implementation and monitoring compliance with quality and risk management policies and procedures in KPMG in Malta also handling compliance and risk management queries, including those related to the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (PMLFT) and ethics and independence. She delivers sessions on PMLFT at the KPMG roundtable and also at various other seminars and conferences.

Ariane is a co-chair of the PMLFT sub-committee at the Malta Institute of Accountants and a committee member of the PMLFT sub-committee at the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners.

Cynthia Borg is the Head of Financial Crime Compliance and Group Money Laundering Reporting Officer at APS Bank. In her role, Cynthia is responsible for establishing and maintaining a robust financial crime oversight framework covering Anti-Money Laundering, Sanctions, Counter Terrorist Financing, Anti-Bribery & Corruption and Fraud.

Ms Borg is a certified financial crime compliance professional, with a 28-year career in Banking. She spent 26 years with HSBC Bank Malta plc where she held various positions including that of internal auditor and various AML headship positions. In 2013, she was appointed as the Bank’s Financial Crime Compliance Lead for Retail Banking & Wealth Management Services, eventually moving to a more focused role as the Bank’s Head of Global Standards and AML operations.

In 2016 she was appointed Head of Compliance and MLRO for MeDirect Bank Plc and two years later she moved to Diligex, an AML/CFT consultancy specialised firm, as Head of Compliance.

Dr. Yanika Pisani is a Senior Officer within the Guidance and Outreach – Legal Affairs Section of the FIAU, which team is responsible for identifying and responding to the guidance needs of subject persons. Yanika joined the FIAU in 2018 and primarily holds experience within the remote gaming sector. Since joining the FIAU, she has been involved in various AML/CFT projects across multiple industry sectors. As part of her work, Yanika also represents the FIAU by participating in outreach efforts among the private and public sector and provides training on AML/CFT. Yanika studied law at the University of Malta and is a warranted lawyer. She is also a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).

Events Resources

Events resources will be sent by email after the delivery of the event.

Event Details

Day 1: 12/05/2021

Day 2: 14/05/2021

Start time: 09:00 CEST

End time: 13:00 CEST

Venue: Online Live Session

Phone: +356 27555560 / +356 77555560