The police have investigated 92 potential money-laundering cases since 2013, a drop of about 20 per cent over the previous five years, data tabled in Parliament shows.
The drop came as a surprise to legal practitioners, who said they expected the figures to rise in light of stricter anti-money-laundering regulations being introduced.
According to figures provided by Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia in reply to a question by MP Godfrey Farrugia, the police probed 16 cases of potential money laundering in 2017, down from 18 the previous year.
Of the 92 cases investigated between 2013 and 2017, both happening to be election years, only eight resulted in an arraignment, and another 45 were concluded but no action was taken in court. Investigations into the remaining 39 cases are ongoing.
A total of 117 cases were investigated between 2008 and 2012, including 41 cases in 2008 alone.
The police recently told this newspaper they compiled, verified