Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, November 26, 2020

DETAILS EMERGE FROM YORGAN FENECH's OFF-THE-RECORD INTERROGATION AT CLOSED DOOR HEARING

 


 

We are please to report that we have received  details of the cross-examination today of the Police Inspectors who originally conducted the off-the record interrogation of Daphne Galizia assassination suspect Yorgan Fenech behind closed doors. Fenech's attorneys were unable to block questioning of the business tycoon about information disclosed to investigators, for the purpose of obtaining a Presidential Pardon, which was eventually denied. Fenech's attorneys had asserted that Fenech will be prejudiced if he is required to answer, and also objected to the intervention of the victim's family.

We have received a mini-recap of the corruption being discussed in today's proceedings, but we need to confirm certain information, as some of it came from multiple sources. As serious journalists, we cannot publish without corroboration, and we trust that those of our readers who were in attendance will get in touch with us. Note that we are aware that it is a criminal offence in Malta to report any of this story in the Maltese press, but we are reporting solely for our American and international readers. The source of any information received is protected here under American law.

Aside from this hearing, there are rumors in Valletta of millions of Euros, representing alleged transfers to former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, involved in the Wind Farm project, gas and fuel supplies kickbacks, and other organized crime activities inside Malta that received the blessing and protection of Muscat. We cannot comment upon the information regarding today's proceeding, until that information has been confirmed, from reliable witnesses who have first-person information. While today happens to be a national holiday in the United States, we trust that we will be able to bring the full story about today's important hearing to our readers tonight.



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

DMITRY SHEGUROV - IEEPA VIOLATIONS; SENDING PROHIBITED DUAL-USE TECHNOLOGIES TO RUSSIA

 


HOW MALTA BAILED OUT A BANK THAT BUSTED IRAN SANCTIONS BY BUYING ITS BOV SHARES



The government of the Republic of Malta illegally financed Iran sanctions evasion, and did it improperly with revenue from the Individual Investor program (IIP), as its Citizenship by Investment passport program is known. IIP funds are required to be applied to social and developmental initiatives in Malta.

 Malta, which then held 25% of BOV stock, used €21.8m in passport sales cash to purchase an additional ten percent (10%) interest in Bank of Valletta from Italy's Unicredit SpA, shortly before UniCredit, and its two subsidiaries* agreed to pay $1.3bn to US and New York regulators for massive Iran, Libya and Cuba sanctions violation. 

Malta's purchase of BOV stock allowed Unicredit to pay the huge American fine it was negotiating; UniCredit, according to American regulators, reportedly went to great lengths to assist IRISL, the government-owned Iranian shipping line, evade sanctions on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and global terrorism. It is alleged that the close relationship between BOV and UniCredit  included cooperation in Iran sanctions evasion. The Maltese bank is reportedly the subject of an investigation into its money laundering and sanctions evasion activities.    ___________________________________________________________________

*UniCredit Bank AG and UniCredit Bank Austria AG.


IS THERE A CONNNECTION BETWEEN THE HALKBANK/ZARRAB CASE AND THE MALTAGATE MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION ?



The recent filing of a sealed document in the Iran sanctions evasion case against Turkish government-owned Halkbank raises the question: Is there a link between the Halkbank case and the Malta Money laundering investigation, also known as MaltaGate ? The Malta targets were engaged in protecting the lucrative Libyan fuel oil/gasoil smuggling operation, which resulted in the delivery of finished petroleum products to Iran, for civilian consumption, for which they laundered profits and took a piece of the action for themselves. 

While we haven not yet seen any public reference between the Iranian oil-for-gold sanctions evasion kingpin, Reza Zarrab, Zarrab's extensive cooperation was so extraordinary as to result in a rare get-out-of-jail-free card for him, and he must have extensively diagrammed precisely how and where Iran obtained access to gasoil from Libya, and who was responsible for seeing that no arrests were made, and product seized. It is both logical and probable that Zarrab spilled all the innermost secrets of the crews engaged in the smuggling operation, including storage, disguise of  the identity of the contraband oil, and delivery to Iran.

Whether the sealed document represent a sealed indictment, though only conjecture and speculation at this stage, Zarrab's central role in covert global Iranian programs, and his current privileged status, despite having pled guilty, suggests that the Halkbank case is more than it seems to be. Where's the Malta connection ?


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO QUESTION SEALED FILINGS IN FEDERAL COURT CASES

 I understand that some of our readers may not fully understand the importance of the fact that certain pleadings have been filed Under Seal in Federal criminal cases, and we therefore wish to fully explain the significance of such filings. This is especially important when seeking to ascertain whether there may be additional defendants not publicly known, who may have already been indicted but not yet in custody or before the Court for some reason.

First of all, all pleadings filed in criminal cases in US District Court by  the Government, and by defense attorneys, are always open to the press and public, who may review them in electronic version, at a computer terminal in the Clerk's Office, or on PACER, at any time. The Docket Sheet lists all filings in chronological order.

However, when the Government has a specific reason to file pleadings under seal, meaning that they are not open to public view, and are restricted, it has the right to designate the filing as Under Seal. This is allowed only for a limited number of reasons, for the actions of the lawyers, the courts and the judiciary are to be always open for public scrutiny, as a matter of public policy in a free society.

Here's why Government prosecutors may seek to seal pleadings, filings or documents:

(1) The document is an indictment of an individual who is not yet in custody, and should he have advance knowledge that he has been charged with a Federal felony, he may see to engage in flight to avoid prosecution. When a defendant is outside the United States, his sealed indictment will sit in the file until he is arrested, or extradited, and physically before the court.

(2) A filing may name heretofore unindicted targets of an investigation,, and the Government fears that is his or her name is publicly exposed, the target may flee.

(3) There may be classified information in the filing. The Classified Information Procedure Act provides a number of ways the Court deals with this information, but initially it cannot be filed in open court.

(4) There is certain information in a filing that may alert targets that they are under criminal investigation, even though their names do not appear. The reference to a specific investigation may tip off targets. Also, information about an investigation by a law enforcement in another country could alert targets in this country.

(5) Testimony of a cooperating informant (CI) which, if exposed, may result in threats to the life or safety of the informant, or the removal or destruction of evidence or the proceeds of crime, generally assets.

Personally, when I see sealed filings in a Federal criminal case, I expect that there may be either sealed indictments in the court file, or information which may alert individuals that they are subjects or targets of the investigation. That's why I comment on what you may regard as routine filings, for they may be important clues about the development of an ongoing case.


AFTER IGNORING OFAC SANCTIONS, AND RETURNING MONEY, MALTA BELATEDLY ARRESTS PROMINENT LOCAL SMUGGLER

 


 

Remember our recent article, Judge in Malta ignores OFAC Sanctions, releases funds to Arrested Oil Smuggler ? The court in Malta returned €296,000 to a suspected Libyan gas/oil smuggler, notwithstanding existing OFAC sanctions. The return of the proceeds of crime appeared to be a slap in the face of United States Libyan anti-smuggling efforts.

 Now, almost two months later, Daren Debono, and ten others, have been arrested in a major money laundering case, involving an attorney and an accounting firm.we are wondering whether the case is a belated effort to repair the damage with the US, impress MONEYVAL, or both. First, we need to see if any of those arrested ever go to trial, or if the case was just a show for regulators. Second, let's see which attorneys are representing the accused. If they are pat of the existing power structure, there will be no justice, just a dismissal, years down the road, for some procedural flaw found by a magistrate judge.

Finally, those individuals in law enforcement who were responsible for the evidence used to get the arrest warrants, will leave the Malta Police Force, to take a high-paying job for organized crime. I rest my case.


 

Monday, November 23, 2020

ARE THERE ANY CRUSADERS LEFT IN MALTA TO HELP CLEAN UP THE CORRUPTION ?

 

The Siege of Malta in 1565 was not the last battle. It's going on right now, between the Forces of Light and the Forces of Darkness. Which side are you on ? The oncoming legal storm will wipe out the country's corrupt leaders, and the organized crime elements that they protect will not be able to stand the bright sunlight. Reform will replace corruption.

if you consider yourself a descendant of the Knights of Malta, pitch in and help us bring the story of the 2021 criminal indictments to Malta. There will be cases filed in more than one jurisdiction in the United States, and we need to cover all the courtroom events as they unfold. Please donate to allow us to expand our coverage, so that all the details of these cases can be reported and analyzed.  Thank you for your support. Access the "Donate" icon immediately to the right, and help us report history in the making.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

WITH AN AMERICAN INDICTMENT LOOMING, A NERVOUS PRIME MINISTER COMMITS A CAPITAL CRIME UNDER AMERICAN LAW

 

                                                         Deer in the Headlights

 Malta's disgraced former Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, has gone underground, fearing assassination by his many organized crime partners. According to witnesses, he has not been regularly seen in public for weeks. His wife, Michelle, who is rumored to also be a target of the investigation, due to a reported money laundering investigation of  her clothing business, has visibly aged. Their children are being home schooled, amid bogus claims that they were bullied at school.

Muscat, who is, according to friends, taking anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication,  and getting very little sleep, has been actively plotting the murder of a US citizen in a foreign jurisdiction. JM and his associates have allegedly been discussing ways to entice the American to an Eastern European or Caribbean/Latin American location, for the sole purpose of silencing that individual, to prevent him from Exercising his First Amendment rights. This constitutes a very serious crime cognizable under US Federal Law.

Mr. Muscat's untenable legal situation just got worse. The possible maximum penalty for such a crime includes Death by Execution under US law. Perhaps in his arrogance Muscat actually believes that the United States does not have the power to bring him to justice, as a former leader of his government. he might want to read about Panamanian General & President Manuel Noriega, and Turks & Caicos Chief Minister Norman Saunders. Both served Federal Prison time for their crimes; their hubris did not save them. 

Will Joseph Muscat accept his fate, or force the United States to prove its case, in a lengthy and costly  trial ? If so, we trust he understands the consequences.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       




Saturday, November 21, 2020

MALTA PROMOTES A CENTRAL FIGURE IN MALTAGATE TO HEAD THE CENTRAL BANK

 


 We note from a pubic announcement that the Republic of Malta's Minister of Finance, EDWARD SCICLUNA, is to be promoted. Scicluna will resign as Minister and Member of Parliament, to become the new Governor of the Central Bank of Malta. He has been Finance Minister since 2013 when Malta's Labour Party (PL) came into power.

It was under Scicluna's watch that Malta was transformed into the European Union's "user-friendly" jurisdiction for money laundering, Terrorist financing, and a known cesspool for financial crime.  His failure to rein in rampant money laundering, within his own party, amounted to at best willful blindness, and at worst, aiding and abetting financial crimes of every type and category. Scicluna was the subject of a criminal investigation in 2019,  with then-Health Minister Konrad Mizzi and Chris Cardona, regarding Vitals Global Healthcare.

                                                      Scicluna, Mizzi and Cardona


 Observers in the EU fear that, in his new role as Central Bank head, he will further facilitate financial crime in Malta, and in the other Members of the European Union. It is not known whether he is or was a target of the ongoing Malta Money Laundering investigation, being conducted by the United States, and other countries, and whether he is cooperating with foreign law enforcement agencies. 

 

Two officials of ministerial rank have reportedly received immunity from prosecution for their cooperation with American authorities, but their identities have not been publicly released, and we do not wish to put their lives at risk by speculating as to who they are. There are also rumors that those two individuals will be receiving monetary compensation for their testimony, and will be relocated outside of Malta.

  


WITH ALX SAAB MORAN STILL FIGHTING EXTRADITION IN CAPE VERDE, BRUCE BAGLEY'S SENTENCING RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL 27

 


 

 

 If you have been wondering what is goig on with the much-delayed extradition of the wanted Colombian money launderer, ALEX NAIN SAAB MORAN, there have been additional delays in his appeal of the lower Cape Verde court order requiring his extradition to Miami, where he faces multiple money laundering and financial crime charges.

Former UM Professor Bruce Bagley, whose sentencing was to take place recently, has had his sentencing rescheduled for April 27, 2021. Bagley is expected to testify against Saab, in order to obtain a reduced sentence, and we believe that is why his sentencing has been postponed.

US ATTORNEY IN SADR CASE REQUESTS SEALING OF DEFENSE AND ITS OWN FILINGS

                                   Does Keith Schembri have a sealed indictment against him? 

 Notwithstanding that the defense has repeatedly asked the Court in the Sadr case to unseal all the post-dismissal filings, The US Attorney's Office, SDNY, again has requested sealing all the pleadings. While the defense filed their last under seal, it was still seeking the Court's approval to unseal all the filings of both sides.

  We can only conclude that there are names of Targets and Persons of Interest revealed in those filings, and to allow that information to become public record could allow those individuals, from what we are referring to as MaltaGate, to seek to evade efforts to bring them to justice.




Friday, November 20, 2020

READ THE COURT ORDER IN THE SADR CASE AND JUDGE FOR YOURSELF

 If you want to satisfy yourself as to whether or not the evidence withheld from the defense in United States vs. Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad  constituted Brady material, you may want to read the complete text of the 42-page Opinion & Order here.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

SENTENCING OF FORMER ANTIGUA REGULATOR LEROY KING POSTPONED

                 Leroy King, the former Antigua banking regulator charged with colluding with convicted Ponzi schemer R Allen Stanford, to conceal the fraud at Stanford International Bank, was had his sentencing rescheduled in Federal Court in Texas. King lost all his extradition appeals in Antigua, was extradited to the United States, and later pled guilty to one count of Obstruction of Justice, and one count of Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice. He is said to be terminally ill. but this is unconfirmed.

 It is not known whether the rescheduling was ordered to allow King to testify against certain senior government officials and PEPs from the Commonwealth of Dominica, who are targets of a massive American investigation of Iranian and Venezuelan money laundering known as the Maltagate, and in which Dominica PM Roosevlt Skerrit and his attorney, Anthony "Little Tony" Astaphan are allegedly two of the principal Dominican targets. Pilatus Bank CEO HAMIDREZA GHANBARI has a Dominica CBI passport, and is allegedly an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran; Ghanbari's role in money laundering in and through Dominica is not publicly known.

                                                 Anthony "Little Tony" Astaphan, SC


SADR'S €50m MALTA CONSTRUCTION PROJECT IN 2014 WAS DESIGNED TO BUST IRAN SANCTIONS


 

Long before Ali Sadr Hasheminejad's Malta-based Pilatus Bank was evading global sanctions on Venezuelan and Iran, he created a local construction project for social and mass housing. The company, known as MALTA INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, LTD., was formed by Sadr in January 2014, as Director of BRITTSTONE LTD., the same Hong Kong corporation believed to own Pilatus Bank. A subsequent controversy regarding the project, initiated by members of the European Parliament, interfered with its implementation.

Using IIP (Citizenship by Investment) funds to fund construction by a private company, when the Government of Malta had traditionally had that role was openly questioned in Parliament at that time,  as the money would be going to Sadr's Iranian-owned construction company. Given that payment was to be made in Euros, rather than US Dollars, it would have been, if completed, a clever evasion technique, funneling €50m to Iran.

Sadr used a low-cost Venezuelan social housing project to transfer funds that the United States alleged were used to fund Pilatus Bank. Sadr's conviction, after a jury trial, was set aside and all charges were dismissed, in a ruling never fully explained, and which may have been involved in evidence produced in the ongoing cases collectively known as the Malta money laundering investigation, also known as Maltagate. Several members of the former and present government of the Republic of Malta reportedly have sealed indictments on file against them, including former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, on multiple charges. Those indictments have not yet been unsealed, nor any arrests effected. A number of targets have allegedly been cooperating with US, UK, Italian, French and other EU law enforcement agencies.

 

 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

PALESTINIAN ARRRESTED IN MALTA AND CHARGED WITH SELLING COUNTERFEIT PASSPORTS AND RESIDENCE PERMITS


 Local media in Malta have reported that a Palestinian was arrested yesterday, and accused of selling counterfeit Maltese passports ans residency permits. His identity was not disclosed; an unspecified amount of currency was seized by the Malta Police.

The case raises the question: was this individual selling bogus passports to raise funds for a sanctioned terrorist Palestinian organization, meaning Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as as such were did his sales constitute Providing Material Support to a designated terrorist entity ? Given the extensive Palestinian expat colony resident in Malta, and the Maltese government's pro-Palestinian foreign policy, that question must be asked.