The identification, tracing, freezing, confiscation and recovery of assets is an effective way to tackle crime and prevent that its proceeds are re-invested in the licit economy and used for further criminal activities. From the European Union’s perspective, substantial efforts took place in this area, most notably by the establishment of Asset Recovery Officers across the EU Member States and mutual cooperation amongst these Asset Recovery Offices.​
In addition, a Directive on confiscation, adopted in 2014, is now being transposed and implemented in all Member States. The EU is also working to improve the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders between Member States and has adopted a new Regulation enabling a swift execution of freezing and confiscation orders in other Member States without cumbersome formalities.

The ability to confiscate assets depends directly on the ability to identify and trace them, to "follow the money". And while the EU continues to support the establishment of national Asset Recovery Offices and the provision of the necessary powers and resources to these agencies, in Malta, the Asset Recovery Bureau Regulations were promulgated by Legal Notice 357 of 2015. They were made by the Minister responsible for Justice, by virtue of the powers conferred on him by article 700 of the Criminal Code. A number of the provisions contained in these Regulations were, in point of fact, brought into force by Subsidiary Legislation 9.23 on the 1st October 2017. This was done to enable the setting up of the necessary structures of the Asset Recovery Bureau (ARB) and to build its capacity to be able to start functioning. This stage was reached by mid-2018 and the other provisions of the Legal Notice 357 of 2015 were brought into force by the Minister responsible for Justice, on the 20th of August 2018, through LN283 and LN 284 of 2018. This would also mean that all new cases referred for Freezing and Confiscation, as from the 20th of August 2018, will be managed by the Asset Recovery Bureau.
As the Asset Recovery office for the Maltese Islands, our primary objective is to develop and facilitate techniques used in the identification and tracing of assets which will lead to an increased number of confiscations. To this effect, the Asset Recovery Bureau looks forward to work with all registered Institutions in order to facilitate operational cooperation by investing in new techniques while adopting permissible simplification measures, and the exchange of best practices on the identification and tracing of criminal assets.
Through the ARB’s web portal, any user may send us comments and suggestions which the Bureau would review and revert back in a confidential manner. You may also wish to note that Court Orders are published​ here and the Government Gazette [Court Notices]. ​

Contact Information:

 Asset Recovery Bureau
Triq is-Suq, 
Floriana FRN1080