Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, June 24, 2021


                                           Something Wicked this way Comes

 Conservative estimates of the amount of money that Joseph Muscat's former Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri, received in bribes and kickbacks, during his time in government service, are between €80-100m, but it may be substantially larger. According to Daphne's articles, he is believed to have had, at one time, accounts in Switzerland, Dubai, Panama, Gibraltar, New Zealand, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands. Apparently his efforts to set up an account in the Bahamas, together with Konrad Mizzi, ended, due to Panama Papers revelations of criminal activity on his part.

  Schembri, who is reportedly receiving cancer treatments at home and is said to be near death, will be leaving a treasure trove of criminal proceeds for Malta to locate, seize and forfeit to its national treasury, provided that it can locate and attach those offshore bank accounts. We know that KSs wife, Josette Schembri Vella, accompanied him on some of the overseas trips, and presumably has signatory privileges on his accounts. It must be assumed that her travel will be closely monitored, lest she, after his death, remove those criminal proceeds.

                                    Is she one of the targets of the investigation, or a cooperator ?

We trust that this money can be recovered for the people of Malta, who now face the loss of jobs and business, due to the FATF Greylisting.This money can also potentially be used to provide sustenance, if ordered, to Maltese citizens and residents who lose their jobs post-Greylisting.



Reportedly taken at Barcelona Airport last night, witnesses say that the disgraced former Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, and his wife, were spotted quietly fleeing the country. The video, which has been posted to Facebook, speaks for itself.

Readers will recall that our article published last night, entitled Shock and Awe as the Financial Action Task Force Greylists Malta, specifically noted that

"One individual,who is known to be a target of US law enforcement activity, has reportedly made emergency travel plans to leave the country, to avoid potential arrest. "

One source stated that they were in Barcelona, in transit for Qatar. We are seeking verification. Muscat was called out yesterday in Parliament, as being primarily responsible for the mess that Malta today finds itself in with the EU, and the financial world, due to the Greylisting. He did not respond.

                        Remember the classic Woody Allen movie, Take the Money and Run ?

Are the Muscats leaving Malta ahead of Joseph Muscat's arrest warrant, on the same day that they posted their twentieth century wedding anniversary ?

Notice that  Mrs. Muscat is wearing a jacket, which might be hard to do in Malta, where temperatures are in the thirties, Celsius. The picture is obviously from an archive. Happy anniversary to Malta's worst couple.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021




 The Financial Action Task Force, more commonly known as the FATF, in a Plenary Meeting today, has voted to designate the Republic of Malta a" Jurisdiction Under Increased Monitoring," otherwise known as Greylisting. Unofficially, the primary reason is said to be Malta's failure to hand down Bills of Indictment against the principal officers and directors of its money laundering financial institutions, Including Pilatus Bank and Satabank, for criminal activities dating back several years.

The reaction from Valletta, which was described by eyewitnesses as being in a state of shock, has reportedly stunned Malta's ruling Labour Party to the core. The Prime Minister, Robert Abela, is said to be depressed by the news, which was unexpected, as MONEYVAL, the European agency that assesses compliance with European standards, appeared to have passed Malta last week. The Cabinet, according to one individual who was present after the news broke, is searching for a scapegoat to blame the Greylisting upon. The Minister of Finance, Clyde Caruana, whose uninspired eleventh-hour efforts to change the votes of countries known to be leaning towards Greylisting, is said to be their first choice. Caruana, a protege' of PM Abela, is widely thought to be unqualified for his current position. 

Private reaction has been uniformly critical of the Labour government. Malta's best-known whistleblower, Maria Efimova, after hearing the news stated about Malta, whose leaders have repeatedly refused to grant her immunity and whistleblower status, " It will surely enjoy being in the same pot with Zimbabwe and Albania." 

These issues have surfaced since the FATF decision; Panic seems to be the order of the day:

(1) Some individuals are concerned that several gaming companies are thinking of packing up and leaving the jurisdiction, as banking and compliance becomes more expensive, and worry that local banks will start losing more correspondent accounts, due to increased risks, as is being experienced by Bank of Valletta (BOV).

(2) One individual, who is known to be a target of US law enforcement activity, has reportedly made emergency travel plans to leave the country, to avoid potential arrest.

(3) Other observers are calling for Abela's resignation, early elections, and even the appointment of a Caretaker Government forthwith, to remove the members of the present Cabinet on an emergency basis. 

(4) The looming blocking of wire transfers from Malta, by compliance officers at banks in North America and the European Union, will the most immediate concern, as will probable termination of many financial services jobs held by Maltese citizens and residents.

It's going to get worse before it gets better, and Malta had better get used to being Europe's Bad Boy of Finance, with all the privileges appurtenant thereto.




The US Attorney General, Merrick Garland, has publicly stated that he has no plans to expose and/or terminate the career prosecutors who, following the orders of their political superiors, acting on behalf of Donald Trump, violated the United States Constitution or any Federal Laws. Whether this is an error, in light of the continuing release of reports of still more Trump-ordered breaches of the law, and violations of established DOJ policies and procedures, remains an open question. What do you think ?

                                          Attorney General Elliot Richardson

When Richard Nixon asked then-AG Elliot Richardson to fire Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox, he wisely chose to resign, during the fabled "Saturday Night Massacre." More recently, assistant US Attorneys chose to either ask to be removed from a case, or actually resign, when faced with Trump's illegal orders. Should those career prosecutors who chose to follow Trump's lead, and break the rules or the law, remain in their position ? We seriously doubt it. Whether they were sympathetic to Trump is immaterial; Garland needs to clean house, regarding prosecutors who chose to follow clearly illegal orders and directives. We don't live in a Banana Republic, but a nation that follows the Rule of Law.

                                                Archibold Cox

I understand that the AG wants to move forward, but he needs to do some deep cleaning first. We are still wondering whether certain individuals are slow-walking or otherwise delaying new indictments for improper reasons especially FCPA cases where Trump supporters may have been targeted.  Fix your house, please, Ms. Attorney General.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021



Ahead of tomorrow's Plenary Session of the Financial Action Task Force,  the FATF,  during which Malta will be discussed, we need to explain why the "passing grade" given to Malta by MONEYVAL will not necessarily translate into a favourable decision by the FATF on Greylisting Malta this week. It's really a case of apples and oranges.

MONEYVAL relies upon whether the jurisdiction has enacted the appropriate AML/CFT legislation, as well as creates policies and procedures to fight money laundering, and the countering of terrorist financing.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requires that laws and policies not only be there, but that Malta has an ongoing and effective programme which works in interdicting money laundering and terrorist financing. Are there positive results ? If not, then it is not effective.

In plain English, while Malta may have the laws and procedures in place to fight financial crime, unless they are actually observed and implemented, with results that can be seen, the FATF may fail the jurisdiction. Given the multiple abject failures to enforce the law against PILATUS BANK, SATABANK, and its officers and directors, FATF may consider Malta's laws ineffective, and Greylist it forthwith. 

We trust that this clears up the issue for those who have equated the MONEYVAL decision as dispositive for the FATF. Of course, the whole thing is subject to Europolitics, which may result in something we have not anticipated; stay tuned.

Monday, June 21, 2021




We are pleased to report that the Blog has been selected as one of the top 15 Financial Crime Blogs on the Web you must follow in 2021, by the Feedspot. Considering that blogs by ACAMS, Oracle, LexisNexis, and Nice Actimize are among those selected, we are flattered to have made the grade. The Feedspot Blog Reader allows easy access to multiple relevant resources without having to find them, and hunt them down.

Readers who wish to access the complete list can find it here: 



Unless something extraordinary occurs, on Wednesday, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will vote to place Malta on the Greylist of uncooperative jurisdictions for AML/CFT purposes. Malta will join the Republic of Panama in a club nobody wants to belong to.

The two countries share many commonalities:

(1) They both have apartment and office buildings, built with laundered cash, all empty of tenants.

(2) They both never, never, never charge either their banks or laundrymen with money laundering.

(3) They both feature rampant, uncontrolled corruption at the highest levels of government.

(4) They both have alienated neighboring countries, due to uncontrolled financial crime.

The US will vote against Malta, due to the total lack of money laundering and corruption prosecutions. Germany will cast its vote, due to the IIM (CBI) passport programme, which has resulted in financial criminals entering the Schengen Zone en masse. The UK most certainly has not forgotten the Pilatus Bank branch in London's Mayfair.

This blog has been warning Malta's leaders, for one year, to clean up the courts, IIM and corruption, to no avail. As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

One final note; if you want to know what is next for Malta'; Moody's, the investment assessment firm, just listed Panama as NEGATIVE in its financial sector. Expect more bad news to arrive in Valletta forthwith. As a wise man once said, "The people get the government they deserve."



Sunday, June 20, 2021




In the aftermath of the legal disaster involving the Iran sanctions case against Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, the Iranian bank owner (Malta's infamous Pilatus Bank) whose guilty jury verdict that was negated by what the judge declared to an classic case of prosecutorial misconduct,* a case in District Court in Los Angeles appears to be even more egregious, and which may have roots in a very dark place, like that of Ali Sadr.

To simplify, while there are many other sub-issues, suffice it to say that Pakistani-born American businessman Imaad Zuberi is about to enter Federal Prison, on a twelve-year sentence, for Obstruction of Justice. Zuberi allegdly, deleted emails from his computer, during a criminal investigation. while this sounds like a simple case, it isn't. Zuberi, who is a longtime asset of the US Intelligence Community, did not delete those emails; it was done by his Agency handler, and the US Attorney's Office knows this to be a fact, and still prosecuted him. His attorneys hope the appellate court will reverse Zuberi's conviction, and is seeking his release on bond pending the appeal. Of course, the Government is opposing this. Don't you wonder why ?

The number of ethical (and moral) violations prosecutors have committed are legion:

(1) The Government argued a position it knew to be false on the email deletion issue.

(2) the Government used Classified information to assert its position before the Court, but did not allow defense counsel access, notwithstanding that he had been cleared for access. The information advanced a one-sided story, while shielding contradictory facts that would have painted a different picture.

(3) The Government made factually incorrect, misleading, and even knowingly false statements to the Court.

(4) The Government using the Classified information shield, restricted counsel's ability to tell Zuberi the arguments against him, and to effectively participate in his defense.

(5) The sentence sought was clearly excessive, Draconian, and inconsistent with the lenient sentences in the same District for similar cases. This is not equal justice under the law.

Clearly, the Government was under orders to zealously prosecute this individual, which amounted to a denial of fair adversary proceedings. But was this case, which reeked of prosecutorial misconduct from end to end, brought because of orders from above ? It is no secret that Donald Trump loathed the American Intelligence Community. While we do not know the specific reasons, his fears that IC has clear and convincing evidence of his criminal conduct, and possibly even Sedition and Treason, may account for his attitude. Zuberi also was a major campaign donor; did he anger Trump by his financial actions ?

In other words, was Zuberi targeted because of his connection to the Intelligence community, and did those orders come directly from political appointees in the US Department of Justice ? Who gave that order ? It might also be interesting to know why, since the Trump Administration has been out of office since January 20, why the Biden DOJ is so stubbornly pursuing  Zuberi ?  If the same ASUSAs are handling the case as they did in 2020, questions about their motives need to be asked.Was the then-Attorney General involved ?

All these questions deserve answers; let's hope the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dispenses some justice.


Was the SDNY Case against Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad deliberately Torpedoed by Trump Appointees ?  June 15, 2021.



 PEN Malta, the local branch of the international journalists' free press organization, recently published entitled  PEN Malta says Magistrate cannot Determine what is in the Public Interest,  in which it stated

" A gagging order on matters that do not prejudice [the] ongoing proceedings ... is not justified."

The Maltese judiciary, obviously acting upon the orders of corrupt government leaders, routinely imposes gag orders upon the local media, when corrupt Labour officials, leaders, Party members, or their wealthy financial supporters' names are implicated in criminal activities. This is a form or censorship which denies the public access to information which is clearly in the Public Interest. It is frequently explained away, ineffectively, by a judge, stating that it may prejudice legal proceedings that have not concluded. This is total BS; it conceals the sordid truth about individuals, solely because they are part of a corrupt power structure desperate to stay on top, and  using deception to do so.

This blog will continue to print the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about Malta. Being outside the country, the courts in Malta have no jurisdiction over our content, and we are known to have printed warnings that certain stories are intended for Expats residing overseas. We who labour here print only truth; stay tuned.

Saturday, June 19, 2021


 The consistently inept Minister of Justice at the Republic of Malta is advocating passage of the regulation which will allow individuals who do not possess a Warrant to practice law, (meaning that that they are admitted to practice) to render legal advice and give legal opinions, outside of actual litigation, do long as the Justice Minister deems them academically qualified. As you might imagine, Malta's Chamber of Advocates is up in arms about it, and with good reason.

To explain, to practice law in Malta, one must not only graduate from law school, but work directly under an attorney for one year, pass written and oral examinations, and be found to be of good  moral character and reputation. One other important thing: you must be proficient in the Maltese language. All these requirements can, if the regulations becomes law, be evaded, so long as the minister find you academically qualified, whatever he deems that to mean. 

The reason for this strange development is not known, but it will allow foreign "consultants" who are approved by the minister to open a law office in Malta, though obviously unqualified. Is it so that CBI consultants can set up shop in Valletta, or to allow Russian financial consultants, to move from Cyprus, where its CBI passport programme has been terminated ? There has got to be some overriding reason for this abandonment of the requirements established for members of the legal profession.

More ominously, is this part of the secret arrangement recently concluded between Malta and Russia ?

Friday, June 18, 2021


After our recent article, Slovakia's most notorious $75m Convicted fraudster, Marian Kocner, had a $6m Account at BOV, and Many Malta Connections, has resulted in what amounts to a general denial from Malta attorney Christian Ellul. We note that Malta has previously ruled that Mr. Ellul lacks both "Honesty and Integrity, " as the MFSA decision concluded, as a matter of law.  See the MFSA Directive below. He was banned from holding any directorships for a period of five years.

How are we to believe his statements ? Also, the Malta Gaming Authority found him not "fit and proper" to hold a gaming license. It held that he was of "insufficient integrity and good repute."

   Nevertheless, since in this blog, we seek only truth, we shall respond.

(1) First of all, the evidence, which was attached to our article, speaks for itself, It came from an article on the subject published by the authoritative Jan Kuciak Investigative Center, which our readers are free to review on the Center's website, at  .

(2) Second, for Mr. Ellul to deny his involvement in the St. Kitts shell companies exploited by fraudster Kocner conflicts with his signature on a document sent to St. Kitts. Of course someone else formed those offshore companies, but Ellul was the known intermediary in Malta, according to the Center. He cannot say he had no knowledge, when he sent a document to St. Kitts, verifying information.

(3) Ellul denies that he was directly involved in the BOV accounts of his former father-in-law, but didn't he receive correspondence from the bank as the designated intermediary ? A Malta Today article mentions BOV in connection with his representation of his client. See In the Shadow of Kocner; Former Son-in-Law Challenges MFSA Ban.

                                    Ellul's former client: Kocner in custody.

(4) Finally, he arrogantly claims the BOV bank statement is a forgery. Obviously, he is not familiar with BOV practices. The statements go out in window envelopes, and the word "Malta' is not within the window, so it does not forms part of the address. We also know that Malta-based intermediaries receive statements, rather than have them sent in international mail, for security purposes. His allegation that the lower placement of the word "Malta "is evidence of forgery defies reason, as well as known BOV bank practices.

Readers are urged to read the materials available at the Jan Kuciak Investigative center website, if they are looking for the truth about Kocner, and his relationship with Christian Ellul. In any other EU country, he would probably have already lost his license to practice law. Of course, in Malta, there is no meaningful professional discipline of advocates.

 Personally, I'd sure like to know why he is taking all those trips to Marbella. Did Kocner secrete assets there ?


Thursday, June 17, 2021




Remember when we reported on Hamas' public request to its supporters to fund its international terrorist activities by sending it Bitcoin, thus evading the global financial structure ? Well, one financial institution in the Republic of Malta reportedly took the Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization seriously, for we have confirmed information, coming from a law enforcement source, that Pilatus Bank, later closed by the European Central Bank for money laundering, sent Bitcoin to Hamas.

We know specifically which Pilatus director was in command of these illicit payments, but must conceal his identity, lest he choose to flee the countries of the European Union, for a jurisdiction where extradition to a Western country will be impossible. This individual has special expertise in cyber-currency.

This constitutes terrorist financing, and significantly raises the stakes for those Maltese government officials, including regulators, who cast a blind eye towards reports that Pilatus Bank was engaging in criminal activities. Notwithstanding a statement by the head of the Malta Police, last year, that criminal charges would soon be filed, in the light of a Magistrate's report confirming money laundering, Malta has avoided filing a Bill of Indictment against the directors and senior officers, as suggested by the report.


Providing Financial Support to a Designated Terrorist organization, especially when that support, directly or indirectly, results in a terrorist act in which victims  are killed, confers the maximum penalties under the law, up to and including the Federal Death Penalty, under US Laws. We doubt that Malta's leaders are aware of this bit of information, but ignorance of the law is no excuse. 

Malta's ostensibly Socialist government has carried on a love affair with Palestinian organizations, including terrorist groups, for decades, and those organizations maintain agents within the local expat community, which greatly facilitates funding through Maltese banks. We cannot say which financial institution replaced Pilatus, but we urge that an inquiry be made forthwith, for some bank is certainly involved at this time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021



 MARIAN KOCNER, a notorious Slovakian organized crime figure, who was sentenced to 19 years in prison for his crimes, and who was reportedly behind the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, the Slovakian Daphne Caruana Galizia, used shell companies in Malta and St. Kitts & Nevis, allegedly formed by his former son-in-law, Malta attorney CHRISTIAN ELLUL, and financial services providers in other countries, to hide assets linked to the proceeds of crime. He is the son of German industrialist Helga Ellul, formerly an MEP candidate. Kocner was convicted of forging $75m worth of promissory notes to steal money from a Slovak television channel. 

                                                                       Christian Ellul

 Kocner's Bank of Valletta shell company account Statement appears above; how an individual openly linked in the press to organized crime, and a career criminal, was allowed to maintain such a large account at BOV speaks volumes about the bank's total lack of due diligence upon its customers. We would like to know who was Kocner's personal banker at BOV, and how he allowed a St.Kitts-incorporated entity to hold an account at the bank. Obviously, there was zero due diligence undertaken here. Who at the bank approved this ? Maybe the European Central Bank should take a hard look at BOV.

Kocner, who was placed on America's global Magnitsky sanctions, for Human Rights violations, had  a group of offshore companies, which appear in the chart above.  Attorney Ellul's signature, appearing on the St Kitts corporate document, appears below, in case anyone doubts that this article deals only in truth.

We call upon Malta's regulatory agencies, and its police, to open investigations into Kocner, how he was able to launder his money through BOV, and who assisted him in his criminal pursuits. Readers who wish to learn the complete, and sordid, story, should access the excellent article appears on the website of the Jan Kuciak Investigative Center at



                                                                     Viktor Bout


Viktor Bout, the former Russian arms trafficker, who is currently serving a twenty-five year sentence in the United States, may be the subject  of a prisoner exchange with Russia, which is holding Paul Whelan, doing eighteen years there on what appears to be a trumped-up (pardon the pun) espionage charge. According to the press release of Bout's attorney, which appears below, Bout's sentencing judge reportedly approves of the prisoner exchange and transfer, and approves, stating that his mandatory sentence was excessive, under the circumstances.

Viktor Bout, who was at one time a valued, though unofficial, instrument of American interests in conflict zones abroad, including in the war in Iraq, was later deemed to be a threat, and was the subject of a controversial operation which resulted in his indictment and conviction.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


Now that more and more examples of what I can only describe as improper and illegal conduct, committed by attorneys in the US Department of Justice, I am wondering aloud just how far that misconduct went, during the Trump years. Was a case written off as a failure to deliver timely deliver Discovery to defence counsel, in a complex matter, and categorized as negligence, that the Court decided was a major Brady violation that justified setting aside a jury verdict, really that simple ?

For those not familiar with the case, allow me to summarize; Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, an Iranian businessman with no banking experience whatsoever, magically obtains a banking license (Pilatus Bank) in the Republic of Malta; the bank ultimately had its license revoked for massive money laundering of millions of dollars in criminal proceeds from several jurisdictions. Ali Sadr was arrested in the US for moving $115m, paid under a Venezuelan construction project, through the US financial system, in violation of American IEEPA sanctions against Iran. Ali Sadr used entities in Switzerland and Turkey to conceal the payments to Iran. 

Sadr's conviction was set aside by the Court after SDNY admitted that it had repeatedly failed to deliver what possibly constituted Brady material, to Sadr's attorneys prior to the trial. We note that very senior AUSAs handled the matter for the US Attorney. 

So, the question is: was there a negotiated settlement with defence counsel, wherein Sadr would turn over many millions of dollars to SDNY, in exchange for an admission of Prosecutorial Misconduct, and assisting in dismissal of the charges, and was the entire matter handled by Trump political appointees ? While "sweetheart" plea agreements in Federal criminal cases, involving the disgorgement of the proceeds of crime, often occur, it is generally while the case is pending, and not after a jury verdict comes in. Did Sadr offer a treasure trove of cash after he was convicted, or was it demanded post-conviction ?

There are a lot of unanswered questions here, and we need to know:

(1) how many of the senior Assistant US Attorneys who handled the resolution of the matter were Trump political appointees, especially if they were transferred into the SDNY from Main Justice, by the Attorney General himself ?

(2) Why did Ali Sadr receive such favourable treatment during the proceedings in his case ? It was known that he had assets abroad, that his father was a prominent Iranian businessman, and that he was a flight risk ? How on earth did he get bond ?

(3) Did representatives of the US DOJ expressly tell the authorities in the Republic of Malta NOT to file criminal charges there against Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad for money laundering ? If so, who delivered that message or warning ? To be blunt, did Russian money for Trump transit Pilatus Bank ?

(4) Remembering how Rudy Guiliani sought favourable treatment for other Iran sanctions violators, including Halkbank, was there a similar operation underway regarding Ali Sadr ?

 I am no conspiracy theorist, but I have been questioning the outcome of the Sadr case; the public needs to know whether there is more than meets the eye. Was it truly Prosecutorial Misconduct or something darker ?