Hamidreza Ghanbari, CEO of Pilatus Bank
Just when we started to understand the depth of the Malta money laundering investigation being conducted by US law enforcement agencies, it got bigger. New information, from the same reliable sources that originally advised us about the New York and Miami cases with new criminal links between Malta and Venezuela, Iran, Italy, Azerbaijan, Russia and Libya have added Dominica to the mix.
For those who are wondering how there can be any commonality between Malta and Dominica: Both countries have corrupt Labour governments with a long history of exploiting Citizenship By Investment passport programs; rampant money laundering and the facilitation of transnational white-collar crime; A dodgy foreign Citizenship by Investment consultancy that assisted in winning national elections; dominance by a prime minister who is more interested in acquiring personal wealth than helping his country, and who has been targeted by foreign law enforcement agencies; unofficial censorship by the local press; disregard of the Rule of law by the corrupt judiciary; unregulated offshore banks engaged in international money laundering.
I might also find it interesting to add that this blog has extensively covered CBI corruption in both countries, and yours truly is considered an existential threat to both regimes. Their fears are justified. Both countries seem to be on a parallel track towards a bad end for all the participants concerned. There will be no happy endings in either Dominica nor Malta, due to their greed and avarice.
Anyone who doubts that Dominica is now a primary target should remember that the head of Malta's notorious money laundering Pilatus Bank, HAMIDREZA GHANBARI, curiously holds a CBI passport from the Commonwealth of Dominica. See "How did Hamidreza Ghanbari, the CEO of Malta's Iranian-controlled Pilatus Bank, have a CBI Passport from Dominica ? published July 25, 2020. You may access the article here.
Observers of the Pilatus Bank scandal have openly wondered why Ghanbari, as the senior bank executive, was not indicted when bank owner Ali Sadr Hasheminejad was charged with evading international sanctions in moving millions from Venezuela into Iranian control. Has he been cooperating with US and EU law enforcement, and been given immunity from prosecution ?
While we have no details of this ongoing investigation, the principal Dominica target of the investigation is most likely Prime Minister ROOSEVELT SKERRIT, who has been a Person of Interest of US law enforcement for several years. Skerrit has been engaged in the lucrative sales of Dominica diplomatic passports (which violate the United Nations Vienna treaty), for obscene amounts of money, and is known to be close to Venezula's President Nicolás Maduro. His precise role in the Malta money laundering scandal is not known, but the movement of $160m through Portmann Capital and Pilatus Bank may provide a clue, and the role of the cooperating Swiss banker, Matthias Krull could also be significant. This is obviously part of a money laundering investigation. Given America's recent zealous investigations and indictment of Venezuelan nationals, the Caracas-Valletta-Tehran pipeline of dollars is the most likely subject.
Whether there are any other Dominica nationals implicated in the Malta investigation is not known, but we shall be exploring that avenue of investigation forthwith, and will report all developments back to our readers, as they occur. One of our Dominica sources reports that there has been extensive communication between Roseau, the capital, and Valletta, Malta's capital, since the December 2019 announcement, when Malta's Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, resigned in disgrace, in the aftermath of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Readers may not be aware that all telephone and Internet communications within Dominica are regularly monitored by the regime, and we believe those recordings may have been leaked to the press by individuals who do not approve of the conduct of senior Dominican government officials.
We do know that there are Cooperating individuals who testimony has been secured in the Dominica phase of the investigation, Whether these CIs have given evidence against Maltese nationals is not known.