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 ?


                                   $20s, not $100s. This was the proceeds of street sales of narcotics

 Today's news in financial crime is not encouraging; Sui Yuet Kong, a Chinese immirant, who admitted that she, on behalf of a Chinese money laundering ring, personally physically moved $24m in currency, has received a lenient forty-month Federal sentence for her crimes. The laundrymens' clients were Mexican drug Cartels. She picked up the cash in $500,000 lots; her attorneys claimed that she had no idea that all the money was drug profits, which is hard to believe. I know I certainly don't.

The cash was transmitted to China through circuitous means, and thereafter delivered in Mexico to the Cartel clients. If the Federal judiciary insists on giving out such sweetheart deals to bulk cash smugglers who ultimately cooperate, there the word will spread that only short sentences awaits those who are caught in the act, and the practice will continue. This is not an effective deterrent to others.

 I see only $1m was seized; that means the Mexican Cartels are twenty-three million dollars richer.  Was justice served ? You be the judge.

Monday, June 14, 2021



                    The State of Affairs in Malta; "The Best in the World !"  by COSIMO 

 In a scene that could have come right out of The Godfather,  a witness from the FIAU flatly refused to  identify Keith Schembri and Adrian Hillman, during a hearing in the Malta MFSP money laundering case. The witness was then briefly taken into custody; later, defence counsel himself named the two individuals, in open court.

This demonstrates the absolute power that organized crime has over not only criminal proceedings, but over every aspect of Maltese life. Schembri, a suspect in the Daphne assassination, is known to control the Malta Security Service (MSS), the local equivalent of  the secret police, and which allegedly uses violence against political targets, on behalf of government officials, or individuals supporting them.



We recently reported on an unsuccessful attempt, by the MSS, to take out a known whistleblower who has evidence against Joseph Muscat, in a staged auto accident, which was intended to be fatal. Hillman also has associates who could prove troublesome for any witness who deigns to testify against him for any purpose.

The known ability of organized crime to reach out and harm witnesses against them  is a major factor in why such witnesses often will not come forward. We hope and trust that the new European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) will be able to take a bite out of Maltese crime, as it is designed to attack money laundering, corruption and tax fraud. Meanwhile, scenes like this are commonplace, as if they were occurring in a lurid motion picture about organized crime in Chicago in the 1930s. What a sad indictment of what passes for justice in lawless Malta.

Saturday, June 12, 2021



This has been a busy week for justice news; first the disclosure that major American media received subpoenas, for covert investigations of journalists, which included gag orders, which reportedly found nothing, but which were repeatedly renewed by court order, which kept the individual targets totally in the dark, in what have been described by former DOJ attorneys as "fishing expeditions."

Next, it got worse; Members of the Intelligence Committee of the US Congress were also the subject of investigations, which included staff members, and their families, including a minor child's telephone records. Again, the DOJ, specifically former Attorney General Wm. Barr, found no evidence of wrongdoing. Internal DOJ investigations have been launched this week.

The reason all these matters are coming out, six months into the new administration, where AG Garland is in command, is that the last of the many gag orders are expiring and/or court records are being released to the public. The Trump Justice Department was supposed to depart on January 20, 2021, to be replaced by the new administration, but, curiously, vestiges of a number of the Trump investigations, both into his "Enemies List"  (shades of Nixon) and suspected, but never proven, leaks of classified information to journalists,  remained alive & well.How did that happen, Mr.Garland ?

The only possible answer is that, rather than dismiss all the Trump political appointees in the Department of Justice, and the career prosecutors who spearheaded Trump's obviously improper investigations of journalists and Congressmen, a number of them are still Assistant United States Attorneys, What's wrong with this picture ? The logical thing to do on January 20 was to employ a broom to make a clean sweep of these individuals, many of whom seemed to have bent, or even broken, both internal DOJ policies, if not Federal Law itself. I am referring not only to Main Justice in DC, but to SDNY and SDFL as well. Furthermore, Certain delays in bringing indictments have not escaped notice by other agencies in our government, we assure you, and they are quite unhappy with these unexplained delays; whether there will be pushback , and what those consequences will be,we cannot say.

We note with alarm that a number of the still-pending civil suits, filed by watchdog organizations, advocacy groups, Congressional committees and NGOs, which Garland inherited from Barr and Sessions are still being defended by DOJ, which is continuing the official positions from the Trump Era, for suspect legal and/or institutional reasons. This inconsistency has been flagged by watchdog groups.

Perhaps the most serious issue is whether Trump Era holdovers have been instrumental in causing foot-dragging (delays) in completing investigations of certain financial criminals, some of whom appear to have been either former Trump officials, past or present major Trump campaign supporters, or wealthy businessmen linked to the Republican Party. We are talking about Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and money laundering violations.

Are certain prosecutors obstructing justice for political reasons ? If so, this must be uncovered, suppressed, and brought to a halt, with the offenders given not only their walking papers, but come under criminal investigation, should the circumstances warrant.AG Garland needs to clean his house, forthwith, lest Statute of Limitations issues allow those financial criminals who are not yet indicted to elude justice.




 Apparently, party lines get crossed in Malta, when it comes to romance, and the losers are, as always, Malta's long-suffering taxpayers, who are clearly not getting their money's worth from their public servants. A Labour Party Cabinet-level minister is carrying on a torrid affair with a Nationalist MP; And that's just part of the scandal.

it seems that that the individual orchestrating this crossover is no other than Malta's most reviled businessman, Yorgen Fenech. YF provided the rendezvous; it's widely rumoured that someone secretly filmed the trysts, and had the movies on their telephone. While we know that our readers would like to know precisely what went on during those private moments, we wish to keep this story on a higher plane, and stick to the facts, so let's keep it "G" rated.

The encounters, which were between a sitting government minister and a blonde opposition MP, seemed to result in the blonde participant rarely, if ever, attending to her job, without any pressure from Labour to properly discharge her responsibilities. We gather that her illicit relationship brought with it certain perks. Did we mention that both parties are happily married ? 

We know about these illicit meetings thanks to a source in one of Mata's premium hotels. Apparently there are also chats showing him pestering YF for an executive suite at the hotel.. He also demanded privacy when he drove the ministerial car into basement parking, where he could not be seen, and that key cards would be ready, and champagne on ice in the room. Regarding the minister, when the word got out that the affair would certainly be publicly exposed through the film on a certain telephone, staffers at the ministry and secretariat complained that he was drinking heavily during the day, and even at the Ministry.

 His work performance verged on helplessness, resulting in complaints from a judicial association, as well as advocates, all in the last fifteen months. His work was, simply, not getting done, due to all that shagging and imbibing. People of Malta, it seems much of your tax Euros are not being well spent. 

Our thanks to our Maltese readers for trusting us with this story; together, we can create the change that Malta needs.

Friday, June 11, 2021



Malta has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons, not just because of a shocking assassination of one of the country's leading female investigative journalists, but now, in the last couple of years, because of persistent money laundering and corruption allegations at the highest levels. So what has happened to Malta's moral compass for a nation that has more card-carrying Catholics per capita than almost anywhere else in the world, and a country that I have been so proud of, up until recently ?

I am a dual national, British and Maltese, because of my great grandfather, Lord Strickland, who himself survived an assassination attempt on his life, when Prime Minister of Malta, between the two World Wars. Since I inherited property in Malta from his unmarried daughter, the Hon. Mabel Strickland OBE, which included shares on Allied Newspapers Ltd. (the country's leading English-speaking newspaper group, which publishes the Times and Sunday Times of Malta), I have had to endure my own very real experiences of Malta's corruption for the past thirty years.

Let me expand on this Maltese scandal. It is a story of how a clique of self-entitled people have sought to hijack Malta's prestigious newspaper group. Allied newspapers Ltd., by stealth over several decades. They have done so in order to advance political careers, influence public opinion, and enrich themselves, at the expense of my inheritance, and at the expense of the workforce and future of the newspaper's employees. Let me explain how I believe this heist was carried out by the two Executors of my aunt, who were Guido Demarco, a leading criminal lawyer in Malta at the time, and Prof. Joseph Ganado, a leading commercial and civil lawyer during that period.   

The Scheme:

1. First, identify an Old Lady in her declining years, who owns an influential newspaper group, yet never married. and so has no immediate family living with her.      

 2. Work with the Prime Minister to get her previous lawyer to resign, by arranging for him to be promoted to a judgeship. Have yourself introduced by a trusted intermediary, and ingratiate yourself into this Old Lady's life enough to be appointed her new legal adviser, and then get to work on her legal affairs.                        

3. Arrange for the family heir to be marginalized, by having his proposed adoption by the Old Lady blocked by a change in the Constitution of Malta, with retroactive effect. Follow this up by getting the Government to have her heir (who was a British national at the time) declared persona non grata, and barred from returning to Malta for more than nine years, for no valid reason. Both of these actions were carried out in 1977 and 1978, just to frustrate the Old Lady's Strickland succession plan.                                             

4.Obtain from the Old Lady a SOLE Power of Attorney to act on her behalf, in case she gets ill before her heir is able to return to Malta.                                                                                                                          

5. Then, in 1979, persuade the Old Lady to 'revise" her will. Draft the will yourself with the assistance of another legal colleague who is prepared to help carry out the plan for his own reasons.                               

6. Further marginalize her heir by persuading the Old Lady to replace her previously planned Strickland Family Trust  with a new Strickland Foundation, set up supposedly "for herself and her heirs in perpetuity," but ensure that you and your other legal pal are named as her joint executors after her death, and also as two of the Council Members on the new Foundation. Finally, ensure that the Old Lady's key assets are not left to her Strickland heir, but to the new Strickland Foundation. In this way, you will have all of the major assets of the Old Lady Strickland's estate within your personal control when she dies.         

7. When the Old Lady then asks you, as legal adviser, to go to London to explain to her Strickland heir all these changes, and the reasons for them, fail to meet him on that trip, and ignore your client's instructions  completely, so that the heir cannot ever alert his aunt to the risks of these significant changes to the Strickland succession.                                                                                                                                      

8. A few weeks later, when you hear of a planned political riot aimed at the newspaper, fail to pass this knowledge on to the Old Lady, or the management at Allied. As the result, the headquarters is firebombed, and so badly damaged that this causes the Old Lady to suffer a heart attack, from which she never fully recovers.                                                                                                                                                           

9. After the Old Lady dies, make every effort to persistently block the heir from participating in  the foundation, or family newspaper group, and promote your own offspring and friends instead.                   

10. Be sure to cover your tracks; after the Old Lady dies, hide all of her family and legal administrative papers, so that her heirs cannot find out what his aunt intended by the changes in 1979, and whether she would have wanted to set up a conflict upon her death, between the Strickland heir and the Strickland Foundation. Note: This is significant since this well-organized Old Lady always left clear instructions to he heir and her Executors about her intentions, in her previous wills, yet no explanations or draft copies of legacy correspondence have ever been produced by the Old Lady's lawyers that would no doubt shed light on her extremely confusing 1979 last will.

The Result:

Following Mabel Strickland's death, the majority shares in Malta's leading English-speaking newspaper group are no longer controlled by the founder's family, but have fallen under the control of the family of one of her Executors. 

Indeed, for twenty-two years after her death, the shares were held in the personal names of the joint executors, on behalf of the deceased's estate, until the disputed 2010 share transfer. All the executors now have to do is simply ignore any attempts at Mediation, or protests from the heir, or from other shareholders, whilst one Executor certainly promotes his political career, together with his family and friends, at the expense of the heir, and whilst enabling other employees of the newspaper group, and other hangers-on, to help themselves to as assets built up over 85 years of hard work, by the disenfranchised minority shareholders and the loyal and hard working staff at Allied Newspapers. It is a scandal.

This scheme seems to have been a well-thought out strategy, but there are a few major problems that the Executors had not counted on:

A. Robert, as sole heir, is challenging the Executor's self-serving interpretation of the 1979 will in 2010, by filing a court case (36/2010) which was decided in 2018, during which the judge criticized the Foundation and executors for their harassment of the heir and his family.The judgment, finally entered in 2018, was immediately appealed by both parties; the appeal has not yet been heard.The details of  the original bequests, and their valuations, were prepared by Demarco's brother-in-law architect, Paul Camilleri, and the notary public used to open and transcribe Mabel's handwritten will was another Demarco relative, Schrieha, and mistakes in transcription were made.                                                        

B. When the Executors immediately responded to Robert's court action in 2010, by secretly and illegally authorizing the transfer of the majority shareholding in Allied (78%) from themselves to the Strickland Foundation, they failed, totally, to seek the permission of the heir or the courts. No valid instrument of transfer was ever produced by the executors, who have since died. We now know that this was done despite the Executors knowing that this was an illegal transfer. Furthermore, this was fully 22 years after they should have made a decision on who was the legitimate owner of these shares. the heir has challenged this transfer in another court case (1136/2015) which is still in court, currently. This illegal transfer was subsequently recorded in a reconstituted  share register by the company secretary of Allied, Clinton Calleja, who (yes you guessed it) just happens to be an employee of Demarco &  Associates. Allied's original shareholder register is allegedly conveniently lost, and it does not take a fool to work out why.

C. The Strickland Foundation is barred by law from being a shareholder of Allied, pursuant to its Articles of Association, because it is a "Body Corporate,"and as such cannot legally be a shareholder in an exempt private family company. Had the original proposed Strickland family trust plans not been superseded, with Robert as the named beneficiary, then the trust could have been a shareholder.                                                                                                                   

D. An attempt by the heir, to enforce the law regarding the questionable legality of a charitable foundation controlling a profit-making enterprise, in this case a newspaper, pursuant to §32A of Chapter 16 of the Civil Code, was blocked by the now-disgraced Adrian Hillman, at an extraordinary shareholders' meeting in March 2013,.Hillman refused shareholders to vote n the issue of Section 32A and so kyboshed the meeting. Advice was also received from the Foundation's solicitors, who happened to be connected to Mario Demarco, and to Austin Bencini, who formerly operated Guido Demarco's political campaigns.                                                                                             

E. An attempt to get the behaviour of the Strickland Foundation investigated by the Attorney General, Peter Grech, met with no interest at all, despite the Foundation having improperly received  more than €3.5m in dividends from the newspaper group, even before they were registered as a shareholder in 2010, and where the Foundation was prohibited from being a shareholder. This fact alone should have attracted the Attorney General's attention.                                                                                                                     

F. The Court of Appeal ruling in 2018 held that the Strickland Foundation, and the executors' families had to disclose to the heir all of his aunt's documents, and to cease hiding behind legal privilege arguments, as the heir was in effect their client, and not their adversary. To date neither has complied with this court order.                                                                                                                                                                   

G. The Executors made desperate attempts to try to persuade the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) to state that the transfer would be valid, just before making the transfer. if any such advice was given,, Robert has established that this was not within the MFSA  remit, to offer up legal advice on the status of any foundation, and contends that the advice that the MFSA allegedly gave the Executors was contrary to existing law, Ultra Vires,  and therefore should be considered null and void.                                               

H. What is even more curious is what followed, in 2013, with an amendment to Companies law, on the precise definition of a "Body Corporate was passed." This change in the law, which was actually disguised as a "budgetary amendment," by the outgoing Nationalist administration, and passed by the incoming Labour administration,  appears to be a solution to one of the foundation's problems, notwithstanding that the effective date could not precede the date of passage of the law. Although the now-disgraced former Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, was asked to identify the author of the amendment, he failed to provide an answer, and it has never been explained who proposed or guided this amendment through Parliament  during this time period.

I. Whilst Guido Demarco, and later Mario Demarco, and their friends and associates, have been able to block any of this story from being published in Maltese printed media, these individuals cannot stop electronic media from picking up this scandal, with its injustice, and publishing the facts in full.

The Conclusion:

The Strickland Foundation's administration, since Mabel Strickland died in 1988, has been irregular, illegal, improper, and discriminatory towards her heir. The authorities and the police need to investigate this arcane and maladministration, that had received more than €3.5 million alone, in dividends, from Allied newspapers, between 1988 and 2010, when it was not, and could never be, a valid shareholder.

For further information: 

Mabel's Legacy -the Real Story 




Thursday, June 10, 2021


                             Malta, the Upside Down Country  by COSIMO


Robert Abela, the current Prime Minister of the Republic of Malta, has asserted that his country will contest the order of the European Union to dismantle its dangerous IIM (Citizenship by Investment) passport programme, even if the fight ends up at the European Court of Justice. This is not only a major mistake, but it will open the door to an investigation of the corrupt manner in which an international CBI consultancy secured an election victory for Abela's Labour Party, and may even result in criminal charges being filed against individuals close to him, who are already targets of money laundering and corruption investigations at home and abroad.

The large number of unsuitable applicants who hold Maltese CBI passports, which include white-collar criminals, EU citizens, citizens of states listed as terrorist supporters and sanctions evaders, all add up to a probable successful outcome against Malta in the courts. PM Abela could bring down not only his government, but cause his party to disintegrate as a result of such litigation. Malta has to start cleaning up its rampant corruption, and breaking up its CBI madness is a good way to start. The country is upside down right now for a number of major reasons; its time for it to right itself, or bear the consequences of perpetuating its insanity.

This delusional nonsense, "Malta aims to be the best in the world, " by Abela this week, is disconnected from reality. Please start the cleanup with the CBI programme.


Wednesday, June 9, 2021


 If you saw our recent article about the accelerated promotion of the present commander of the Armed Forces of Malta, you may be interested to know that some of the officers illegally passed over have been financially compensated for their lost salaries, after having formally filed for damages. The information was made public in Malta's major media, but the backstory remained off limits, and was only reported here on this blog.

In truth and fact, the two AFM officers who received unwarranted fast-track promotions, to the top two command positions, have both been, or presently are, romantically involved with Michelle Muscat, the estranged wife of Malta's disgraced former Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat. That is how things work in Malta.



 If you were looking for another reason for the European Union to compel the Republic of Malta to shut down its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, known locally as IIM, here's one: CBI passports are being sold to individuals where are citizens and residents of other EU Member countries. This is an illegal act, and it apparently is a widespread occurrence in Malta. No wonder criminals flock there, for they receive a travel document that allows them to masquerade as someone else, even in their own home country.

I am familiar with a specific case, involving a major white-collar criminal, who is using his Malta CBI passport (under an alias, of course) to defraud his many victims. I will, for the moment, withhold the individual's name, for her/she will most likely be arrested soon, and I do not with to give that individual advance warning that law enforcement is closing in. Once the person is in custody, however, I shall share all the details.

 If this isn't, in and of itself, sufficient reason to cancel Malta's CBI passport programme, then there aren't any. Any CBI passports issued to an EU citizen cannot have any legitimate application. They are only for criminal use. We hope and trust that the European Commission action against Malta, to terminate the programme, with prejudice, is successful.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021



 Here is the Police Report and Criminal Complaint, if you are interested in his "official" position, though many in Antigua claim that he was involved in illegally leaving the country when his exit turned into a kidnap plot.





We have  recently learned that over one-half of the approved applications for a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) passport in Cyprus were illegal and improper. Specifically, they were conducted "in a Due Diligence Vacuum," and with insufficient background checks. Given that many white-collar criminals use bogus identification to make applications under aliases, the use of a facial recognition platform, paired with an adequate image database has become mandatory for compliance officers conducting due diligence for CBI programmes. It has become a requirement for Banking Best Practises, the industry norm, which CBI units must adhere to.

In plain English, so there is no question about it, the failure of a compliance officer, to check an applicant for a CBI passport, using an effective facial recognition platform, constitutes malpractice. There is no substitute, to put it bluntly. Using commercial-off-the-shelf databases of high-risk individuals is not longer an acceptable technique. Compliance officers stick in the past, who still use the old check-the-box name search method, are just fooling themselves and their clients.

One final note; the use of facial recognition software MUST include access to an adequate image database, through which the software searches for your target. Do not use any programme that simply access Google Images, or the Internet, as that is clearly a waste of time. A good image database, which has been collected by the facial recognition platform developers, or which they have access to,  contains passport and visa images, official and unofficial database images, and other non-public resources. Do not accept anything less.

Unfortunately, most CBI programmes deliberately omit the use of facial recognition, as a component of their due diligence  investigation, for they do not want to know the hard truth; they only want to collect the high fees. No wonder we keep reading about white-collar criminals arrested with CBI passports. Until these countries bulletproof their due diligence with facial recognition, they will fail every time.

Sunday, June 6, 2021



A survey of voters preferences, published in Malta Today, falsely indicated that the ruling Labour Party was preferred by twenty per cent (20%) more voters than the Nationalist Party. In truth and in fact, the gap is no more than 10-12% in favour of Labour. The poll sought to deceive voters regarding the gains made by the Nationalist Party in recent weeks, and should be considered to be unreliable and a fraud upon the public. Malta Today  tries to appear balanced, but most of its content favours Labour ; the founder/owner is PL.

The individual responsible for the accuracy of the poll, Vincent Marmara, is a known Labour insider, and a close friend of both disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat, and PM Robert Abela; both appear on his Facebook page. He can hardly qualify as a neutral statistician. We call this how to lie with statistics.


                                                     Vincent Marmara

The bogus statistics are being published, say long-time observers of the political scene, to discourage (disenfranchise) "floating voters" uncommitted Maltese who it is believed would decide not to vote if the gap between the parties was inflated.  

Given the chaos and infighting at Castille, no wonder the Labour Party has stooped to dirty tricks. Many Cabinet officers and Labour Party leaders are refusing to go there, and are sending messengers to attend to their business, accusing the PM of bullying them when they appear in person. 

While Abela does favour Minister of Finance Clyde Caruana, his former chief of staff, and a known "Yes-Man,"  he has been accused of committing verbal abuse upon Minister of Transport Ian Borg,  Minister Silvio Schembri and MP Rosianne Cutajar. Abela has also bullied Joseph Muscat, according to eyewitnesses, who claim that he has been unreasonable of late.

We think we know why. Abela reportedly wants an election in March 2022, but his advisors want one in October 2021. He wants to win by a bigger margin in March, but COVID cases might worsen, and Malta is already in a recession, hence his unhappiness.




 If you were closely following the Fenech/Daphne proceedings, you know that the compilation of evidence against the lead investigator has been postponed until November. While this was most likely done to give the Labour Party sufficient time to conduct, and win, national elections, the lawyers over at PL must not be paying attention to what is going on behind the scenes, for there are unconfirmed reports that Yorgen Fenech, probably the most reviled man in Malta, is negotiating with someone, somewhere, to cooperate in a pending criminal investigation.

We do not mean working with Maltese authorities, but a foreign agency or entity. Let's be honest here, for YF most likely knows enough about corruption amongst members of the Maltese cabinet to implicate just about all of them. Of all the possible cooperators, he literally knows were all the bodies are buried, and who in government violated the UK Bribery Act and the American Foreign Corrupt Praticses Act.  He is that tuned in to Maltese crime, especially bribes & kickbacks.

Whether we see Mr. Fenech, through his artful defence team,  accomplish this legal miracle, we cannot say, but considering that YF is definitely in mortal danger of an "accident" or "suicide" in a Maltese prison, we are certain that his attorneys are mindful of the threat to his safety. If I was YF, I would certainly want to be spending my incarceration in a UK or US facility, and at the end allowed to evade Maltese justice by being released abroad, under a new identity, never to see Malta again.

Who has visited YF lately, and met with him in the presence of his attorneys ? Is there a visitors log, or has it been conveniently misplaced or deleted ?





 Unless you are one of Malta's Luddites, you zealously devour all the investigative articles appearing in The Shift News. This week, in a story exposing the country's abject neglect of its legal responsibilities to the EU on whistleblower legislation, this paragraph appeared:

"The Government also denied whistleblower status to Maria Efimova, who revealed information on Pilatus Bank and Egrant company. She fled from Malta, due to fears for her safety, but was arrested in Greece after Malta requested her extradition.  Eventually, the Greek courts refused the extradition order."

Malta's government continues to ignore the inevitable, probably because it will signal the abrupt end of the reign of the Labour Party, fatally infected with the corruption virus. They ignore Maria at their own peril.

We understand that one of Joseph Muscat's recurring nightmares goes like this: notwithstanding PM Robert Abela's refusal to grant Maria whistleblower status, and the immunity from prosecution that goes along with it, she finds a way to protect herself from legal jeopardy, and the Questioned Documents Examiner Report, confirming the  authenticity of signatures on corporate documents showing his wife, Michelle Muscat, as the beneficial owner of Egrant, is published. Everywhere he goes in Malta, copies of the report are posted on buildings, trees, and even placed upon the windshields of every car in Malta. he cannot escape the truth.

JM wakes up in a cold sweat, and reaches for a bottle of strong drink to clam his frazzled nerves. THAT'S how much of an existential threat that report is.When it sees the light of day, his criminal empire will implode in a flash of sound and light. Pray that this day comes, sooner rather than later.