Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Friday, January 22, 2021

JUDGE IN HALKBANK CASE RESPONDS TO DEFENSE COUNSEL LETTER ON STAY

 The Court in the Halkbank case replied to this week's letter from the defense, bluntly pointing out that the Stay imposed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals required that all scheduled matters be paused until the appeal is decided. Whether you think their letter was improper, simply overbearing, or otherwise, here's the Court's comment below, in the signature box to the right.

 


 

 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A TIMELY REMINDER: THERE IS EXTRATERRITORIAL JURISDICTION OF AMERICA'S MONEY LAUNDERING STATUTES

 


 There seems to be a widespread misunderstanding among foreign nationals, regarding the extraterritorial jurisdiction of US money laundering laws. Many believe that, if they never enter the United States, nor hold bank accounts there, nor engage in trade or commerce with American companies, that they are immune from being charged with money laundering in the US. Nothing could be further from the truth; there is extraterritorial application of United States money laundering statutes.

Basically, the elements of the crime for foreign officials are as follows:

(A) There must be a natural person who is engaged in a financial transaction. This term has been broadly interpreted by Federal Courts.

(B) The individual must know that the transaction involved the proceeds of an illegal activity, known as a Specified Unlawful Activity. Some recent examples; violations of the  Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,  corrupt acts, or violations of the Wire Fraud or Mail Fraud Acts.

(C) The individual intended to conceal the proceeds of the unlawful activity, or promote the activity itself.

(D) If the individual is not a US citizen, it exceeds $10,000, and the conduct in part, occurs in the United States. This is where correspondent banking relationships often invoke jurisdiction, as they can involve movement of the proceeds of crime. They are the necessary conduits of US Dollar transactions, and satisfy the jurisdictional requirements.

Therefore, one may never have any ties to the United States, but receive US Dollars as the proceeds of a criminal act, and deposit those greenbacks, which work their way through the global banking system, including through the New York financial centre, thereby providing jurisdiction.

Alternatively, bribes and kickbacks, paid in US Dollars by American companies to foreign government officials, originated in American financial institutions, did, in part, occur in the United States. There's your jurisdiction another way.

These are but two simple examples of how prosecutors find extraterritorial application of America's money laundering laws. When the senior foreign government official finds out, to his chagrin, that the bribe money he accepted from an American corporation to approve a contract with his nation, he may be literally biting off more than he can chew.

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CASE INVOLVING MATTHIAS KRULL CODEFENDANTS HAS NO ENTRIES SINCE OCTOBER 2020



If you read my recent article, Are the Seven Other Defendants in Matthias Krull's Miami Money Laundering Case also looking for Someone to Testify Against ? (January 12,2021), you know that there are a fistful of money launderers, all linked to the convicted Swiss banker & laundryman Matthias Krull, who appear to be cooperating with the authorities. There are several guilty pleas, or a total lack of a zealous defense being conducted in the remaining cases. What's up ?

 A quick check of the docket, strangely enough, shows no entries whatsoever since Last October. Either I have lost my touch in interpreting between the lines, or these defendants are all looking for sentence reduction through cooperating against targets who make the mistake of going to trial. Given that Krull was involved in, not only the major Venezuela-to-Miami money laundering case, but also movement of over $100m to and through Malta, how many of the seven other defendants have first-hand knowledge or evidence that they could employ against the Malta money launderers at trial ? Food for thought, gentlemen.

Also, don't forget number eight, Matthias Krull himself, who otherwise must start serving his ten-year sentence.

READ MY COMMENT TO THE ARTICLE ALLEGING THAT MY INFORMATION ON JOSEPH MUSCAT IS NOT CORRECT

Readers of Malta Today last Sunday noted the an article critical of yours truly, and this blog, claiming that the information written about the criminal activities of Malta's cashiered ex-Prime Minister, who resigned in disgrace, is not true. I was never consulted to respond to the article, which leads me to believe that it was published under the orders of the Labour Party, and most likely actually written by them, meaning the Toxic Dodger himself, Muscat. I did respond on this blog.

Today, the article appeared online, and here is my Comment, posted after the story.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

READERS OF THIS BLOG USING THEIR SMARTPHONES TO READ THE ARTICLES PLEASE NOTE

 


We are pleased to report that we are adding a hyperlink to the mobile version of all future articles, to facilitate Donations from our readers, who have reported that they were unable to financially support the blog, due to their inability to access the Donate icon. If you wish to help us expand our coverage of the upcoming US Federal Court cases affecting Malta, please Click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

WILL MALTA'S LABOUR PARTY SURVIVE THE ONCOMING STORM ?


                                 A Plague on Both your Houses,  By Twitch*
 

 Political parties in any country, including the United States, are not immortal.They can implode due to a massive scandal, or the public's loss of faith their ability to deliver on promises, or total loss of relevance.  We await the judgment of history upon the Labour Party of the Republic of Malta. Its titular leaders, and power brokers, are about to suffer a legal Tsunami that will shake the party to its very roots. Whether it survives as a viable entity is anyone's guess.

 Why is this happening ? It seems that the Party's Socialist roots (think Dom Mintoff) have been cast off in favour of what objective observers call Champagne Socialism, where the leadership espouses populism and socialism, but drowns in bribes and kickbacks, offshore tax haven shell corporations, and Mafia-style participation in just about every form of crime that a country could have operating within its borders.

The avarice and greed have become so all-consuming that the Party leaders have, while engaging in transnational crime, unintentionally awakened the Tiger, and they are about to end up inside it (no pun intended). If you insert yourself where the Big Boys are playing, and interfere with their game, you will pay the price, one way or another. 

 This might be a good time for the people of Malta to create a new political party, or resurrect an old one that has sentimental value, for things are about to change; Strap in and buckle up.  

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*Note that the deteriorating Enviromnent, Daphne's assassination, Pilatus Bank, and Panama have all been swept under the rug, whilst the vultures fight over the remaining spoils. Twitchcraft.

Help us expand our coverage of the Malta money laundering cases; one man cannot cover three courts in three different American cities, which we expect will soon be upon us. We need assistance through engaging court observers. Please help us by donating through the website, which you can access on your laptop and desktop. If you would like to donate, Click here.


PILATUS BANK ATTORNEYS HAVE NOT ASKED THE COURT TO ACCEPT THEIR LATE SERVICE UPON THE COMPETENT PERSON

 

I am still trying to figure out why counsel for Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, the owner of defunct Pilatus Bank, has not yet asked the Court to allow their late service of process upon Lawrence Connell, the former Competent Person who was administering the Maltese bank's affairs, in their quest to obtain Discovery from Connell. The order stated that the case was dismissed if their did not serve him shortly before Christmas, and this was not accomplished. Do the lawyers think the Court will overlook this little detail ?

I would think that their first order of business would be to persuade the Court to approve of their late service, and insure that the case remains active. Their stipulation with Connell's attorney, for an extension of time to respond, had a court order attached, to rubber stamp their agreement, but it has not yet been signed by the District Judge. What's wrong with this picture ? Perhaps the Court does not approve.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

MALTA'S IL DUCE REQUIRES SEVERAL ARMED BODYGUARDS WHEN HE TRAVELS IN PUBLIC

                                                                         DUCE

 He may have left the office of prime minister more than a year ago, but Joseph Muscat will not go out in public unless he is accompanies by several armed bodyguards. Is he still afraid of an Eastern European hit squad, as has been rumoured ? In any event, he is no longer  entitled to government-supplied (and paid for) hired guns, so why is Robert Abela, the current PM, protecting the man named as the EU's most corrupt government official in 2019, we ask. It is because he still rules Malta's Labour Mafia.  

Readers: please assist us with our expansion of court coverage, due to the anticipated US criminal cases expected to be filed in the near future. We anticipate that we will be required to cover New York, DC and Miami. Please DONATE  to permit us to engage court observers in those additional cities. To Donate, please Click here.
 

 


FCPA PROSECUTIONS IN US OF FOREIGN OFFICIALS EFFECTIVELY EMPLOY AN ALTERNATIVE REMEDY TO OBTAIN CONVICTIONS

While Malta was engaged today in paying close attention to the testimony of its former Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, with many having followed online the real-time summaries of the questions posed and the his responses, this is a good time to clear the air regarding his exposure, as a foreign official, to America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act., as well as that of other Maltese government officials who accept bribes, kickbacks or other items of value from Americans and their companies to direct government business or contracts to them.

While Muscat, and the attorneys who are representing him, most certainly have asvised him that foreign government officials may not be charged under the FCPA, there is an alternate method through which  Federal prosecutors obtain a conviction for corruption. Bribes operate as a Predicate Act, otherwise known as Specific Unlawful Activity (SUA), and such corruption produces what some commentators regard as "proceeds which generate money laundering transactions."

To be more specific, corruption cases meet the test for money laundering when, knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represented the Proceeds of some form of Unlawful Activity, the targets conducted or attempted to conduct a financial transaction, which in fact involved the proceeds of that specific Unlawful Activity, or with the knowledge that the transaction was designed at least in part to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the Proceeds of the Unlawful Activity.

Muscat's attorneys are correct; he probably cannot be charged under the FCPA. but he can most certainly be indicted for money laundering.

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

HALKBANK'S ATTORNEYS POINTEDLY REMIND THE TRIAL JUDGE OF THE STAY ORDER

 

 If you have been following our coverage of United States vs. Turkiye Halk Bankasi,  the Halkbank case, you know that the Second Circuit court of Appeal has ordered a Stay of trial court proceedings, pending a decision in the bank's appeal of the Court's denial of its Foreign Sovereign Immunity defense. On January 15, bank counsel sent this letter to the Court, which appears to be a pointed reminder to the judge of the terms of the Stay. Counsel specifically asked "to vacate all pretrial, trial and related deadlines in this Court." 

It may have been made with respect, but the letter still appears to be out of line, in our humble opinion. The Court has a staff, including attorneys who function as law clerks, who would have brought these issues to the attention of the Court, if in fact the Court would not have already taken care of it. Is the letter insulting ? We cannot say, but in a case where defense counsel has pulled out each and every effort to extricate their client from the case, the letter is a bit too much. Judges receive Stay orders often; they know what to do when they receive one.



AS ITS DAY OF RECKONING APPROACHES, MALTA'S CORRUPT LABOUR PARTY ATTEMPTS TO SHOOT THE MESSENGER


 

We note that an article appeared today, in one of Malta's government-controlled newspapers, that attempts to smear this blog and your blogger, by openly doubting that the information appearing therein is true and correct. Furthermore, the article clumsily attempts to discredit yours truly, with half-truths and disinformation, all of which is designed to convince the people of Malta not to read our stories, especially when they concern their cashiered former Prime Minister, Joseph "Artful Dodger' Muscat, and his Labour Party.

Nothing in that poorly-written article should persuade our readers to stop seeing the painful truth about their corrupt government, its dark alliance with international criminals, and its ultimate destiny, which shall be total disgrace when its leadership is indicted abroad. Truth to Power, my friends.

Regarding the incomplete picture painted in the article, longtime readers of my work know that I have been, while engaged in other pursuits, a journalist for more than fifty years, beginning when I wrote combat stories while riding atop an armoured personnel carrier in the Vietnam war, as a soldier fighting Communism. In all that time, including over 8000 articles on financial crime, I have only been found once, by any court, to have published information later found to be untrue, and by the way, that was due to lies told by two sources, though I have not been ordered to pay one cent for damages, nor will I be required to. I consider that a pretty good track record, considering the huge number of articles I have published.

The writer of the article about me cleverly ignores the fact that that I am a recognized expert in the field of money laundering, due to my open acknowledgement of my participation in that dark art in my youth, and have testified before the United States Congress three times as such, in 1999 and 2000. You can find the transcripts online in the Congressional Record.  I have lectured on the subject of how to identify and suppress financial crime in over 100 countries, and have consulted with law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada, for more than 25 years. 

I know money laundering when I see it, and Malta is completely infected with it; while claiming to help the people, Labour are proven Champagne Socialists, raking in bribes and kickbacks, while paying lip service to the principles of Dom Mintoff. I therefore pose a direct threat to Malta's financial criminals and their facilitators in the Labour Party. No wonder they want to discredit me; Let them try. Their party's continued existence is at stake here, for if their corrupt leadership is indicted abroad, it could implode, thereafter to be left in the dustbin of history; No wonder they are afraid.

                                               
                              

The article asks whether my predictions about Malta's future will come true. Watch this blog for the answer.

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

JUSTICE IS ON FINAL APPROACH FOR MALTA

US DOJ on Short Final to MLA, wheels & flaps down.
 
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 If you have been reading between the lines, you know that major developments in the Malta money laundering cases are expected in the immediate future. You also know that two of the principal Persons of Interest a/k/a Suspects are now operating outside of Malta, believing that they have cheated justice. They have no clue about what is about to happen. Readers are advised to monitor this Blog on a daily basis, as we will bring you all developments as they occur, which will be most likely be after the close of business, CET. It is suggested that you either check at the end of your day, or set an alert up for all new articles that are published.

                        Malta's Prime Minister, Artfully Guided by his Predecessor by COSIMO  

___________________________________________________________                                                   We again ask those longtime Malta readers who have still not made a contribution to assist us to expand our reporting with court observers to cover all the expected criminal filings and appearances in Federal Court. Please make a Donation to help us bring all the relevant US news to you as it happens. You will need to access the website using a laptop or desktop computer, as the Donate icon is not on the mobile version of the site. Please DONATE.




WTF IS HAPPENING IN THE US PILATUS BANK LETTERS ROGATORY CASE ??



In re Pilatus Bank PLC,  the Leters Rogatory (Discovery request) matter, in which the bank is seeking information for its pending EU action to reinstate its license, as well as a proposed civil suit for bamages against the European Central Bank, remains a mystery.What is the status, we ask ?

Here's what we know:

(1) the District Judge gave the bank until just before Christmas to amend, and to serve Lawrence Connell, the Competent Person in the Malta Pilatus Bank disposition. If there was no service, then the case would stand dismissed.

(2) Notwithstanding this, Pilatus' Miami attorneys served Connell AFTER the deadline, which  may or may not stand. The Court has not yet been requested to reinstate the case, nor has it acted Sue Sponte ( on its own) to do so.

(3) Now, the parties have executed  Stipulation to extend time for Connell to respond to the Amended Petition. There is a section for the Court to approve of the Stipulation, but to date we have not seen it do so.

Question: Does the Court still have jurisdiction over the action? We cannot say.but we wish somebody would seek some judicial guidance in the way of a ruling. Also, is Connell going to fight compliance with the Discovery request ?  Please, let's get some answers. 


 

 



Friday, January 15, 2021

YOU KNOW THE LEGAL TIDAL WAVE IS COMING WHEN ...

 


You know things are about to happen to the Malta money laundering targets when a South Florida criminal defense attorney, who handles White Collar Crime, is advertising on the website of the leading Malta newspaper; I guess the word is out. While it might be considered improper to disclose his name, the lawyer appears to be of Italian heritage. We wonder who tipped him off ?

THE BLOG WILL EXPAND INTO TWO SECTIONS FOR THE US CRIMINAL CASES INVOLVING MALTA

 

                                                  The Laundry Man (Polish Edition)

 

We are going to devote a Special Section of this Blog to the criminal cases that are soon to be filed, so that readers may go directly to the information. Case status, recent developments, and our analysis will all be covered. needless to say, this expansion of our material each day means that we need your help in expanding our coverage.

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CORRUPT APPOINTMENT OF NEW COMPETENT PERSON IN PILATUS BANK WIND DOWN LINKS DIRECTLY TO JOSEPH MUSCAT AND ALI SADR HASHEMI NEJAD

 


 While Malta media is slowly waking up to the idea that there's something very rotten about the MFSA appointment of ROBERT ANCILLERI as Competent Person in the Pilatus Bank matter, given that he was, in January, appointed an Non-Executive Director of DF Consultancy Services, part of DF Advocates,  Sadr's attorneys, there's so much more that makes the appointment unfit for any purpose:

(1) While he resigned from that directorship, the Conflict of Interest still stands, by any objective measure.

(2) DF is very close to former minister, and Muscat associate, CHRIS CARDONA; they worked for him when he held ministerial rank.

(3) Government officials who are Labour Party Members were so quick to fill in the shoes of Lawrence Connell, so that Sadr's attorneys no longer need the Discovery case in the United States;  thet can get all the information they need for Ancilleri, who is a known friend of Sadr's Malta attorneys.

(4)  We understand that Connell was sharing his information and evidence with American law enforcement investigators; did he resign due to the pressure of the Federal lawsuit, and other non-record activity ? We understand that Connell's cooperation was making Joseph Muscat extremely nervous.

(5) There have been repeated rumours to the effect that Sadr has threatened Muscat and his associates in government with public exposure of all of Pilatus' dark money laundering secrets, including Egrant, and that is why he has not been, nor will he be, charged with cleaning dirty money at the bank. Sadr 's evidence could put Michelle Muscat in prison for a very long time, and he could testify about bribes paid to secure, on a fast-track basis, the Pilatus banking license.

Ancilleri should be immediately replaced with an experienced accounting and banking professional who is not under the thumb of Joseph Muscat and his Merry Men of corruption. To do any less marks Malta, again, as the most corrupt government in the European Union.

 



Thursday, January 14, 2021

WHY DID FINANCIAl PROFESSIONAL OVERSEEING WINDING UP OF PILATUS BANK SUDDENLY RESIGN ?

 


LAWRENCE CONNELL, appointed in March 2018 as the Competent Person assigned to manage the affairs of Malta's Pilatus Bank, abruptly resigned his office, in the wake of a failed effort by the bank's shareholder, the Iranian businessman ALI SADR HASHEMI NEJAD, to obtain Discovery from Connell, through judicial proceedings filed in an American Federal Court. No reason has been publicly given for the resignation, which was effective forthwith, and which raises serious questions regarding the circumstances surrounding that decision. Was there pressure exerted upon Connell, to resign, and if so by whom ? The dismissed US case indicated that Pilatus wanted him to provide evidence used to cancel the bank's license by the European Central Bank (ECB).

Malta's financial regulator, the MFSA, immediately appointed the Maltese accountant/auditor, ROBERT ANCILLERI. There is no indication that he was selected from a list of qualified accounting professionals who were available for the position. Ancilleri, who is known to be close to the Labour Party, although he is not a registered Member, could therefore be subject to undue influence from party leadership, or government officials who are Labour Party Members. 

If Ancilleri, for any reason, chooses to withhold, or fails to locate and produce, evidence unfavorable to Pilatus Bank, the outcome of the pending Annulment action against the ECB, seeking to reinstate its banking license, it may affect the outcome. Rampant corruption, which infects literally all court and administrative proceedings involving Malta, could result in the bank's reinstatement, notwithstanding a Magistrate's report, concluding that there was massive money laundering in the bank.

This matter is yet another reason for the Magistrate's Report on Pilatus Bank, which reportedly recommends that all of the bank's directors, its senior officers, and the Money Laundering Reporting Officer, be charged with money laundering. The Attorney General is known to have received the Report, but is reportedly sitting on it, as it allegedly recommends charges against JOSEPH MUSCAT, the country's disgraced ex-Prime Minister, as well as others living and working in Malta.

 

 


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

ARE THE SEVEN OTHER DEFENDANTS IN MATTHIAS KRULL'S MIAMI MONEY LAUNDERING CASE ALSO LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO TESTIFY AGAINST ?



Perhaps the targets in the Malta money laundering investigations might want to pay closer attention to the Matthias Krull Miami Federal case, as our recent review of the case file reveals that several of the seven other defendants may also possibly be testifying against them in new Miami, New York or DC cases:

The other defendants: 

(1) FRANCISCO CONVIT GURUCEAGA

(2) JOSE VICENTE AMPARAN CROQUER

(3) CARMELO URDANETA AQUI

(4) ABRAHAM EDGARDO ORTEGA

(5) GUSTAVO ADOLFO HERNANDEZ FRIERI

(6) HUGO ANDRE RAMALHO GOIS

(7) MARCELO FEDERICO GUTIERREZ ACOSTA Y LARA

                                                                                                                                                                           

Here's what I learned from my review:

(1) Most have pled guilty to money laundering and other related offenses.

((2) Their sentencing dates have been postponed or have curiously not been scheduled.

(2) Many of them have documents and filings sealed by the Court.

(3) Many of them have cooperated in agreeing to government forfeiture of their real estate assets.

Meanwhile, MATTHIAS KRULL, whom we already know needs to find a way to have his ten year Federal Prison sentence reduced, was granted a Christmas holiday in Orlando, which required an order from a District Judge. it is only the most recent of many court-approved trips out of Southern Florida, where he is restricted to, by virtue of his bond status. 

There's nothing in the court file to indicate what links exist between the other defendants in the Krull case and Malta, because of all those guilty pleas, but given the broad nature of Federal Conspiracy laws, one must understand that, even if these individuals never met the Malta targets, that their evidence will be relevant, and very damaging. I doubt that many of the targets in Malta understand their situation. 

 

 

 




WHAT WILL MALTA'S DO-NOTHING MINISTER OF JUSTICE DO WHEN THE PILATUS BANKS MAGISTERIAL REPORT IS LEAKED TO THE PRESS ?

                                                          Pilatus who ? Never heard of it.
 

Malta's intentionally inept Minister of Justice, Edward Zammit Lewis, has lashed out at the Shadow Minister for Justice Jason Azzopardi for having the temerity to ask for confirmation that the Magistrate's Report on  Pilatus Bank, which recommends charging bank officers, directors and MLRO with money laundering, is in the hands of the Attorney General. It's called "Shoot the Messenger," and it is what corrupt government officials in Malta do when their refusal to arrest their friends and associates is mentioned in public. They lash out any anyone with the courage to ask the hard questions.

Malta's Justice Minister is a joke; his office refuses to charge anyone affiliated with the country's ruling Labour Party with money laundering, lest that lucrative sideline be denied to them. What will happen when the Magistrate's Report  on Pilatus appears in the global press, because it is now in the hands of overseas recipients who have the intention of releasing it at a very bad time for Malta's corrupt leadership ? Rest assured that we have been advised by the holder of that report that release to the foreign press is coming soon.

Whether Zammit Lewis ends up being charged with a corruption offense in another country we cannot say, but he certainly deserves some payback in Malta for slow-walking, and even feeezing, any justice when it comes to money laundering, as Malta is currently deserving of the title" Money Laundering Capital of the European Union."  Lewis should he brought to justice forthwith.

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Monday, January 11, 2021

JOSEPH MUSCAT HAS DROPPED OUT OF SIGHT

 

                                                 Joseph Muscat by COSIMO
 

  Malta's beleaguered former Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, is nowhere to be found. He has completely dropped out of sight, and he may have permanently departed from Malta. Most observers believe that he is in Dubai, UAE, where his much-publicized no-show job offer awaits. Others claim that his final destination is Qatar, where he had patrons when he was PM.

In any event, with US criminal charges believed to be imminent, expect Muscat to be underground, seeking to evade arrest and extradition. Have any of our readers seen him overseas ? if so, feel free to take his picture and send it to us at : miamicompliance@gmail.com

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

FUGITIVE FORMER SAUDI INTELLIGENCE OFFICER LIVING IN CANADA HAS A MALTA CBI PASSPORT


 

 

As many readers are aware, the Government of the Republic of Malta recently released its list of foreign nationals who received their IIM ( Citizenship by Investment) passports in 2019. Among them local media found SAAD BIN KHALID AL-JABRI, formerly a senior counter-terrorism official in the Ministry of the Interior, as well as his wife and children. Al-Jabri, who is wanted in Saudi Arabia on charges relating to  theft of $11bn in state funds, has been living in Canada for an unknown number of years. Two of his adult children, still living in Saudi Arabia, also hold IIM passports. It is not known whether he has used his Malta passport to evade arrest and extradition.

It appears that Al-Jabri obtained his CBI passport without fulfilling the requirements of one year actual residency, and making continued investments in Malta. Additionally, for a period prior to his application, he was subject to an INTERPOL Red Notice, which calls for his arrest, which is grounds for disqualification of applicants. Many  IIP passport holders have been found to have received their travel documents despite  being unqualified for application, due to a number of reasons.


The European Union has repeatedly called upon Malta to cancel its IIP program, due to the fact that it facilitates money laundering and financial crime within the EU, and that such programs should not exist among Member nations. Malta has declined, alleging that it has now added additional protections to reduce the risk of financial crime. The pending MONEYVAL evaluation of Malta will most likely address the passport issue in it soon to be released report and probable imposition of sanctions.  

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Saturday, January 9, 2021

SADR SERVES THE COMPETENT PERSON AFTER HIS US CASE IS CLOSED

 The Miami attorneys for Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, the Iranian owner of Malta's closed Pilatus Bank PLC apparently think that they can persuade the judge in US District Court, to set aside his order, which closed Sadr's Discovery petition for failure to service the respondent within a set date. They caused a summons to be issued after the case was ordered closed, and still later (January 8) effectuated service of process. What's wrong with this picture ?

I honestly don't know if this is zealous attorney advocacy, or an arrogant client insisting that they try to get a third bite of the legal apple, to obtain evidence, ostensibly to be used to gather evidence for a suit against the European Central Bank, and to, amazingly reinstate the bank's license. In truth and in fact, the bask operated as a money laundering clearinghouse, and arrests in Malta have been promised by local authorities to be imminent. The bank's license has no chance to be reinstated. In fact, Sadr has not taken any steps to move to set aside the Court's order that dismissed the petition.

It's bad enough that Sadr, through his New York attorneys, is asserting that he was exonerated, when his sanctions violation and money laundering case was dismissed for Discovery errors; now, Sadr wants to recover damages from the ECB. he has no claim, based upon the facts.

When will those clowns who are the leaders in the Malta Police file criminal charges against the owners, officers and directors of Pilatus Bank, as they have promised ? No wonder Sadr filed his US civil suit, nobody is moving against him, because of rampant corruption in Malta. Obviously, Joseph Muscat put the word out; delay the matter indefinitely. 

 


 

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THE TWO JOSEPHS, MUSCAT AND MIFSUD, AND A MYSTERIOUS RUSSIAN WHISTLEBLOWER

                                               Who was doing favors for whom, we ask ?

There's a lot we don't know about the connections between former Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and certain Russian nationals who had accounts at the now-closed Pilatus Bank PLC. How many were agents of Russian intelligence, and precisely what were they doing in Malta ? Muscat is known to have become visibly upset when an associate brought up the subject while he was serving as PM. We believe that he fears them, due to information about their activities that he is aware of.


                                                      Joseph Mifsud  by COSIMO

  Then, add into the mix the elusive Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, repeatedly implicated in the leaking of Hillary Clinton 's emails, and Russian interference in the 2016 elections, another reputed Moscow intelligence agent whose relationship to Muscat keeps showing up in our investigation. Mifsud reportedly introduced Muscat to Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister; where that meeting went we surely would like to know.

                                                           Joseph Muscat's documented relationship

Why is this important ? Buried in the massive investigation, we have been advised that there is, for lack of a better term, a Russian whistleblower, who has supplied evidence to law enforcement. How do Russians figure into the Malta money laundering cases, we ask. Remember, it was the fact that Papadopoulos worked for Mifsud that seemingly first drove the FBI to pay attention to Malta. There are also a cast of the Usual Suspects ;  Middlemen and front men in local laundering operations, some of whom are said to be represent several nationalities, may have included the so-called " "Second Whistleblower" amongst them.

While there is no means of accessing the details, soon to be unsealed indictments  in US courts, the Russian factor may be more prominent than has been publicly disclosed.

 

 

 


Friday, January 8, 2021

MALTA NERVOUSLY AWAITS THE LEGAL TSUNAMI

 

                                            The Tsunami comes ashore on Malta's beach.

  It's coming soon, and the known targets of the Malta money laundering investigation are coping by taking sleeping pills nightly, and consuming anti-depressants. For years, they have been immune from criminal prosecution on their own country, due to rampant corruption and influence peddling that has infected the court system, the Malta Police, and all government prosecutors. The arrangement made them bulletproof, or so they thought, for what foreign jurisdiction would deign to seek to extradite them for international crimes, knowing of the inherent delays that would occur in Malta's courts, if requests were made from abroad.

The Malta targets, however made a fatal mistake;  in the arrogance that often comes with major financial success in criminal ventures, they neglected to avoid criminal transactions with the nationals of a country that has broad criminal conspiracy laws, and laws held to have extraterritorial application. A foreign jurisdiction, in charging its own nationals, simply added the Maltese co-conspirators to the indictments, and what Malta's corrupt leaders though would never happen, did in fact come to pass.

 Obviously, they failed to consider the consequences of committing transnational crimes that violate US laws, with American citizens or residents. It would appear that they did not receive useful advice from their attorneys. Whether their lawyers failed to consider the international implications, or chose not to be a party to any matter involving the rendering of any advice on how to evade criminal liability we cannot say, but now the targets are looking at the arriving legal tsunami, and, failing to cooperate early on  to mitigate their exposure,  they have no means of escape.



 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

WITHOUT READER SUPPORT, OUR EXPANDED COVERAGE OF THE MALTA MONEY LAUNDERING CASES WILL BE ON A SUBSCRIPTION BASIS


 

 We regret to report that reader response to our call for Donations, to cover our expanded coverage of the expected upcoming criminal case filings, has been minimal. The cases, which are believed to be be in at least two cities, have not yet been unsealed.  We need court coverage of those cases to being to our readers complete information.

To avoid having to revert to a subscription basis on the court coverage, we are asking those Malta readers who access our articles each day to kindly make a Donation, of at least €50, to allow us to retain court watchers, and to continue to allow us to bring you timely information, each and every day, that you cannot get anywhere else, without erecting a paywall on those articles.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

CAPE VERDE APPEALS COURT SAYS ALEX SAAB MORAN CAN BE EXRADITED TO THE UNITED STATES TO FACE MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES



 According to published reports, The Cape Verde Court of Appeal of Barlavento has enter an order approving the extradition of reputed Colombian money launderer ALEX NAIN SAAB MORAN to Miami, to face massive money laundering charges in Federal Court. This ruling approves a lower court ruling from August.  Apparently, the Court did not buy the arguments that he would not receive a fair trial, and that the charged were politically motivated.

It seems that Saab has one more appellate avenue to exhaust, the Supreme Court of Justice.

SADR LAWYERS TAKE NO FURTHER ACTION ON PILATUS BANK US SUIT

 


 

A final check of the docket regarding In Re Pilatus Bank PLC,  the petition to collect Discovery filed in US District Court in the United States,  shows no entries except a Summons issued on December 28. You may recall that the Court ordered that the bank amend its petition, and serve the respondent, the former Competent Person appointed to wind up the bank's affairs in Malta, after its license had been revoked by the European Central Bank, before Christmas. 

While no service was effectuated, counsel did ask for additional time to serve, based upon their artful interpretation of the rules on the computation of time, which might possibly have given them until the 28th to serve him.  In any event, nine days later, there is no service in the court file, so the Court must certainly now consider the case closed, as it stated in only order it has entered.

We still have no idea why the owner of Pilatus, Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, chose Miami attorneys for a case filed in New England. Sadr's criminal case was in New York, he lives in suburban DC ( Maryland), and he is not known to have any business affairs in Florida. Whether the Malta money laundering targets should take anything from his engagement of a Miami law firm, when Matthias Krull's Venezuelan money laundering case is there, we cannot say, but perhaps Muscat and company have cause for concern from that fact.



Tuesday, January 5, 2021

MALTA CONTINUES TO IGNORE CASE OF MURDERED BRITISH JOURNALIST LINKED TO DAPHNE AND MONTENEGRO

 


 

There has been no press coverage in Malta of the suspected poisoning of British investigative journalist Barry Randall, and we are wondering why. Mr. Randall, the editor of Caribbean News Now, an Internet news website that had a long record of covering both Citizenship by Investment matters, and corruption issues, died after a mysterious illness that some commentators have learned was attributed to Polonium poisoning, inflicted by person or persons unknown.

Mr. Randall, who your blogger knew well, was in direct contact with the late Daphne Caruana Galizia, as both journalists had a number of professional interests in common. As we have previously reported, Randall did later receive a threat letter, sent on behalf of a wealthy Asian resident of Malta, who reportedly represented Chinese economic interests, about his reporting. That individual left Malta soon after her murder, and has not been located since.

After receiving a tip from a source, Randall urgently traveled to Montenegro, without advising anyone of the purpose of his trip. He apparently had been requested to come in person, to receive what he described as blockbuster news. Upon arrival, he dropped out of sight, only to surface in the UK later, in distress and desperately seeking a flight back to the United States. thereafter, Randall, who was previously known to be in good health, became ill and later passed away. The subsequent arrest, upon arrival in Malta, of a suspected organized crime figure, who was carrying Polonium in his baggage, raises many questions about who was responsible for the murder.

The Question: was Barry Randall, following up on information about the Wind Farm project that Daphne was investigating, and did that get him killed ? His death is the subject of a US and UK investigation, but why hasn't Malta reported on the case ? There seems to be a news blackout on the subject. 

When will the Malta Police open an investigation, or have powerful and dark forces intervened ?

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Monday, January 4, 2021

WHO WAS BEHIND THE CONTRACT KILLING IN MALTA OF THE REPUTED MONEY LAUNDERER ?

 


 Who ordered the contract killing of wealthy businessman and art dealer Christian Pandolfino  and his boyfriend ? While the police have arrested the actual killers, the identity of the man behind the brutal double murder remains a mystery. It appears to be a contract killing made to look like a home robbery. Pandolfino was an alleged money launderer for prominent, powerful clients in Malta.

Our information indicates that the alleged reason for the crime was a large financial transaction involving a "corrupt family man" who leads a secret life. We have received an email from an insider, but we cannot publish his identity without further corroboration. If any reader has first-hand knowledge of this matter, we invite you to contact us, in complete confidence, at:  miamicompliance@gmail.com

 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

WILL MALTA'S NEW FREE ZONE BECOME THE FAVORED DESTINATION FOR DODGY ART LEAVING THE UK IN 2021 ?


 

If you were wondering why our last article Malta's former Prime Minister and his Free Zone Money Laundering Scheme is timely, given that  Joseph Miscat's statements about his efforts to set up a Free Zone in Malta are several months old,  think again. The New Year has brought about a major change in the laws regulating the Fine Art industry in the United Kingdom, and Mr .Muscat and his crew appear to be seeking to profit handsomely by the perceived misfortunes of certain individuals who do not want British authorities to know what museum-quality art hangs on the walls of their London mansions. By that we mean the tax man, the enforcers of the Unexplained Wealth  laws, and anti-corruption investigators.

On January 10, 2020 all "participants" who do business in the UK art market become regulated. They will be required to institute the same Due Diligence and compliance checks as banks and other regulated professions. They will be reporting cash transactions that exceed £10,000. Violators face criminal charges and could be sentenced to a term of imprisonment or be required to pay fines. The art firms must even appoint an MLRO*, to supervise the program, who will be responsible for compliance with the law.

Imagine that you are an art dealer who sells Old Masters to dodgy Russian Oligarchs and reputed organized crime kingpins living in London. You will want to assist your client to move their art laundering instruments, their million dollar paintings, to a safe haven. Imagine also that you may be both in the UK and Malta art scene; there are a few such individuals, and they are all involved in the Free Zone project.

That is where Joseph Muscat, Chris Cardona and their Merry Band of Men come in. They set up the Malta Airport Free Zone, pass laws that exempt inbound art destined for the Free Zone warehouse from the requirements of the Cultural Heritage Act, and accept the lucrative business resulting therefrom. Art whose provenance is questionable, will flow into the new Free Zone, where it will remain sealed and safe from the prying eyes of international law enforcement investigators.

Did we mention that Malta stands alone as an EU state that is NOT a signatory to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. This means that there is no EU barrier to the operation of a Free Zone in Malta. We note that the world's Free Zones of note are located outside the EU, in Switzerland, all over Asia, and the UAE.

Watch these developments in 2021:

(1) Malta's Parliament enacting a Free Zone law, complete with the creation of exceptions to both the Cultural Heritage Act and Customs law for the art being imported from abroad.

(2) Some sort of consulting relationship with known figures in the Free Zone industry.

(3) A lead role for Joseph Muscat and Chris Cardona in the Malta Free Zone.


Question: does Malta really want to become known as the depository of the world's fugitive art assets ? This will eventually attract creditors' lawyers seeking to test the validity of Malta's laws, and foreign prosecutors with seizure and forfeiture claims. Wake up, Malta, before Muscat sells your Parliament a bill of goods and walks away with a fortune in fees, leaving Malta with the resulting problems.

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* MLRO: Money Laundering Reporting Officer.

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Saturday, January 2, 2021

MALTA'S FORMER PRIME MINISTER AND HIS FREE ZONE MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME

  If you were paying close attention to Joseph Muscat's post-resignation activities in early 2020, you know that he told the local press that he has, strangely, retained one matter after leaving his position as prime minister in 2019: The government project to create a Free Zone adjacent to Malta international Airport, for the deposit and storage of fine art and other items of value. Putting aside the issue as to whether this is improper, or represents a conflict of interest, his continued involvement in the Free Zone project is but another of a number of ways in which Muscat and his associates intend to use the dodgy Malta fine art sales trade to launder the proceeds of crime.

First of all, for those who are not familiar with the Free Zone concept, it allows the wealthy to transfer and park their valuable possessions in a secure warehouse setting abroad, but in a legal limbo where the items arrive outside normal customs channels, and in essence are thereafter hidden from the world indefinitely., being dropped in a sort of Black Hole. You can imagine the potential for abuse; removing illegally-acquired assets from law enforcement as well as potential claimants and creditors; for secure tax evasion, and of course for money laundering, if the items of value can later be sold in an unregulated industry or business setting. Price manipulation and fraud of the owners are also facilitated, which we will discuss in a future article.

If you require more information, I recommend my article:  How Many Money Launderers under the Microscope are Parking their Drug Cash in Free Zones ? Published June 10, 2014 on this blog. You may access the complete text here.

Malta's love affair with the Free Zone concept dates back as far as 2014, when it was first advanced, and individuals who were directly involved began looking for qualified staff with sufficient fine art education and experience to run the program, as it was anticipated that most of the items placed on deposit would be fine art. We know that former Minister Chris Cardona was also involved, and he did take a trip to a number of international destinations, including the principality of Monaco, where the Russian billionaire businessman and investor Dmitry Ryboluvlev, believed to be a backer of the project, resides. Ryboluvlev's family members reportedly hold Malta IIM (Citizenship by Investment) passports.The unexplained loss of Cardona's travel receipts, which were said to exceed €8000 for the Monaco portion of the trip alone, was never resolved.

What is unusual about the feasibility of such a project is that it anticipates international import of fine art into Malta, which would be coming in for storage and deposit in a Malta Free Zone warehouse, runs up against Malta's Cultural Heritage Act, Chapter 445 of the Laws of Malta. 


The Act, for all intents and purposes, renders the importation of art for retail sale impossible as a practical matter. When art from abroad arrives in Malta, the act requires that the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage sends a staff member to inspect the work, which involves a substantial fee. The fee applies even if the art is coming from an EU country. Once he or she certifies it as art, it generally cannot be removed from Malta as it is now, by its physical presence, actually a part of the country's cultural heritage. Buyers will not purchase fine art to remove it to their residence abroad, or for resale, due to the additional initial governmental costs, which they must absorb, and the distinct possibility that they later cannot move the art out of Malta.

Given the foregoing, How could the Government of Malta, and presently Mr. Muscat, honestly believe the Free Zone project will work, if the clients had to endure the restrictions and costs of the CulturalHheritage Act ?  Muscat was the PM for six years; why didn't he modify the Act to exclude Free Zone transfers ? it makes no sense, unless he already has factored in a remedy, such as bringing in the art outside the normal Customs laws, free of the Inspection Costs. And removing the art from Malta ? Will it also be transferred free of the Superintendent's orders ? We cannot say, but given that the laundering of criminal proceeds, tax evasion, fraud upon creditors, and other criminal activities appear to be the principal reason anyone would be interested in placing their assets in a Free Zone, Malta does not need to become a favored destination for the proceeds of International Crime.

Since Joseph Muscat is no longer prime minister of Malta, this project should not only be taken away from him, it should be cancelled, with prejudice, as just one more of his criminal enterprises that will harm Malta. Finally, as we known, he won't be around much longer to run any project.

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Note to Readers: In Part Two of this story, we shall go into details how Art Laundering works in Malta, and Joseph Muscat's long participation in what is a lucrative, but sordid, industry.

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Friday, January 1, 2021

MALTA MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION SPLITS THE LABOUR PARTY, AS EACH FACTION SEEKS TO SAVE ITSELF FROM THE COMING STORM

                                                                Joseph Muscat
 

The soon to be public American money laundering and corruption indictments have divided Malta's ruling Labour Party into two competing factions; 

(1)The hardcore faction, whose titular head is currently PM Robert Abela, though the true power resides in the hands of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who has the support of the party's oldline Dom Mintoff supporters. Abela, though, has made what many are regarding as errors in judgment since taking office, and will possibly be replaced by Easter. if so, it will most likely be former MEP Miriam Dalli.

Robert's father, George Abela, the country's former president, is currently acting as RA's advisor, and you can expect him to respond if and when JM seeks to remove his son from office. The senior Abela lost a PL leadership election to Muscat, who was supported by Malta's "Construction Mafia" kingpins and Keith Schembri.

                                                                   Robert Abela


                                                                        Miriam Dalli


(2) The moderate faction, which has no designated leader, though the de facto leader is Health Minister Chris Fearne, whose PM ambitions were thwarted by the accession of Abela, whose father was formerly President of Malta.

 

                                                                        Chris Fearne
 

The hardcore faction, which rules the party at this time, refuses to cooperate with wither US or EU law enforcement agencies investigating the rampant crime in Malta, which has affected the countries that are currently targeting the Labour Party officials implicated in money laundering and corruption.

The moderate faction, which might better be described as the whistleblower faction, as the cooperating individuals we have identified as assisting US law enforcement all are from this group, does not want the impending indictments to destroy the party, nor do they want to themselves serve long terms in an American prison. The whistleblowers have produced a substantial amount of evidence implicating several members of the hardcore faction. Some have met with investigators, and given first-hand accounts of ongoing criminal activity. It is not know whether they have received immunity from prosecution, or merely been allowed to plead to minor charges.

The question remains; which group will prevail. Will the Labour Party survive the coming storm of indictments, or will it be relegated to the dustbin of  Malta's history ? The answer is coming in 2021.