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.