VALLETTA, MALTA —
A delegation of European Union lawmakers ended a fact-finding mission to Malta that focused on alleged money-laundering and corruption with a warning to the tiny EU nation Friday that “the perception of impunity” cannot continue.
The delegation’s two-day visit followed the Oct. 16 bombing death of a Maltese journalist who investigated money-laundering in the island country.
The European Parliament members sharply criticized the government’s implementation of laws meant to combat money laundering in Malta, which has a reputation as a tax haven.
They also expressed “great concern” over Malta’s lucrative system of selling passports to wealthy foreigners without making public the identities of the passport-holders. Delegation leader Ana Gomes said the system, “with all its opacity, bears the risk of importing criminals and money laundering into the whole EU.”
“The delegation concluded its visit stressing that the rule of law is the EU’s basis for mutual