Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

MALTA CANNOT GET OFF THE FATF GREYLIST UNLESS IT CHARGES THE OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS OF PILATUS BANK AND TAKES THE CASE TO TRIAL

                                         Muscat's Quick Post G-list Getaway by COSIMO
 

  The statements, recently made by Malta's Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, to the effect that they will successfully drive Malta out of the FATF Greylist, and into the sunshine, are nothing more than propaganda without any basis in fact. Unless and until Malta returns a Bill of Indictment against the directors and senior officers of Pilatus Bank, for money laundering and terrorist financing, the Greylist designation will remain a national stain.

One must try to understand the utter arrogance of any national government, in telling itself that that it can weather a Eurostorm, which occurs when a major money laundering banking operation is given a free pass by government, even after the European Central Bank cancels its license. Did those ministers actually believe that there would be no pushback from overseas when it became obvious that Malta's government just wanted to run out the clock, notwithstanding leaks from a confidential magistrate's report declaring that all the principal bad actors at Pilatus should be charged with money laundering ? 

A fatal error was committed by Pilatus bankers,  when they allowed over $100m in criminal proceeds from Veneuela to be routed through, and cleaned by, Pilatus Bank. Given broad American sanctions against Venezuela, Ali Sadr knew, or should have known, that this would bring heat down on his bank, yet he repeatedly allowed the bank to be used to move money for corrupt PEPs, senior officials from Central Asia, and financial criminals. No wonder the US led the move towards Greylisting; Pilatus Bank was deemed to be a centre for money laundering activity in Europe, and we haven't even gotten to talking about the terrorist financing allegations against the bank, which included funding through cybercurrency.

So, will Malta's corrupt Labour government move against the Pilatus Bank ? It must, even though it will mean charging some in their own party, and its supporters. Otherwise, Malta will become permanently an AML/CFT outcast within the EU, and the consequences appear to be grim.


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSALS OF THE NATIONALIST PARTY OF MALTA FOLLOWING THE FATF REPORT

 

I shall attempt to summarize the key points contained in the position of the Nationalist Party of Malta in its policy in the aftermath of the FATF grey-listing, using an English translation of the Position Brief of Opposition leader Bernard Grech. I have sought to extract his principal proposals and position points.

1. Set up a NATIONAL TASK FORCE, using experts and politicians,  to recognize the problems and start solving it, to have achieved that before the FATF meeting in October.

2. The Government must submit to the Parliament all the correspondence and materials from the FATF, including but not limited to the detailed FATF report with the Action Plan recommended by it.

3. Prime Minister Robert Abela, without delay, publicly deny Joseph Muscat, admit his sordid legacy, exempt Muscat from the highest honours of our country, dismiss him from the Labour Party. Otherwise, he cannot repair what Muscat has broken. Place blame where it belongs, unless you are proud of what has occurred.

4. Parliament will entertain a series of urgent requests regarding the Action Plan.

Every day on the grey-list is a day of missed opportunities for investment that does not come to our country, and for jobs that may have been created here, but will be created elsewhere. The Nationalist Party, which has the credibility that the Labour Party lacks, is ready to work together, giving the Government one last chance to forget about arrogance, and for once act in the national interest.

Well said.

While we do not as yet know the details of the Nationalists plan, it must include:

(1) Bringing money laundering charges in the Pilatus Bank and Satabank cases.

(2) Bringing money laundering and corruption charges against Joseph Muscat, Michelle Muscat, and a number of ministers and Labour politicians.

(3) Finally moving against the Gasoil smugglers, Tuna Launderers and narcotics traffickers that poison Malta. I would hope that the cocaine smuggler receive special attention.

(4) Remove corrupt police leaders and government prosecutors.

(5) Set the Daphne assassination case for trial.

(6) Reinstate career secretaries in all the ministries, to return Maltese government to normal, not political, operation.

(7) The resignation of Robert Abela, and possible charges for his actions while an advisor to the Planning Board.

(8) Request assistance from the European Union to accomplish the above.

To have any chance of removal from the Grey-list, Malta simply must be reformed from the ground up, lst it further sink into the status of a typical corrupt, dysfunctional Middle Eastern dictatorship.

Monday, June 28, 2021

AMID THE POST-GREYLISTING CHAOS, MALTA'S STARTUPS CLOSE UP SHOP, SLINK OFF TO CYPRUS

 It was bound to happen; a number of offshore startup companies in the Republic of Malta, having learnt that the Financial Action Task Force, the FATF, Grey-listed the island nation, they are making hasty plans to close up shop, and reopen in the Republic of Cyprus. The first entities to have already decided to make the move are already collapsing their Malta operations.

This will obviously not only impact the economy, but will have a knock-on effect regarding companies that are considering making the move. when the word spreads throughout the European Union, expect that the number of companies opening up in Malta, to seriously decline, as nobody wants to be in a jurisdiction that has been targeted as high-risk, and from which wire transfers may be declined.



WHY WON'T THE FBI ARREST CAREER CRIMINAL RALPH SANDERS ?

 

                                     Sanders poses as a Sacramento Kings NBA star
 

 This is career criminal RALPH SANDERS; he has many aliases*. For the past five years, we have, on this blog, covered a number of stories told to us by some of his victims**. They are generally young, single women, who encountered Sanders at an automobile dealership, or seemingly by accident, and ended up with financial losses, including prized automobiles, well-placed fear that he would physically harm them or their families, and harassment from the fraudster, when they break contact with him. He is dangerous.

The question we have is simple: since Sanders has been under active investigation, by the Roseville, (Sacramento) California office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and a number of new victims have come forward with evidence of fraud. grand theft, assault, and stalking, why on earth has this three-time convicted career criminal not been arrested on multiple Federal charges ?

 


Several of victims, some of whom we have directed to the FBI with their stories of loss, have reported to us extremely long delays in being able to get a return call from the Special Agents assigned to the investigation, and that's those victims who were able to even talk in person to the FBI. They have also expressed unhappiness with the way their own cases have been progressing. All our contacts to victims have resulted in learning that they have been advised that their Sanders investigation is not complete. After five years, how can that possible be in a fraud case with multiple victims ?

 The only possible answers to our question:

(1) The investigation has been given such a low priority by the FBI that other cases are being attended to first, and Sanders' victims are denied justice. 

(2) Sanders is a Cooperating Individual (CI) of some unidentified law  enforcement agency in California, and the FBI has agreed to not charge him. This is totally unacceptable, as CIs are not allowed to continue to commit crimes, and remain a danger to the community. Whatever the reason, and whoever benefits from Sanders being allowed to remain at large, more and more victims will continue to be defrauded, abused and harassed by Ralph Sanders.

We are unable to understand how the FBI has not completed their investigation, and arrested this fraudster years ago. Is it law enforcement negligence, malpractice, or something much darker and more dangerous. We call upon the Attorney General of the United States to open an investigation into the Ralph Sanders cases, to see that justice is done for all the victims. He is a clear and present danger to the residents of the State of California.



                                    Sanders often exploits vulnerable single women with small children

______________________________________________________________________

*Known aliases:

RAPHAEL SANDERS                                                                                                                       

RAPHAEL SANDERS                                                                                                                            

RALPH INNOCHINA SANDERS                                                                                                  

RAPHAEL S.                                                                                                                                           

SHAWN SANDERS                                                                                                                                

SEAN SANDERS                                                                                                                                        

SEAN BLACK                                                                                                                                          

RALPH OVERSEAS 6//6" SANDERS

                                                          FBI Roseville, CA
 

**Prior articles published on this blog. They may all be located by typing "sanders" into the white search box.

CALIFORNIA CAREER FRAUDSTER RALPH SANDERS CONTINUES TO LEAVE VICTIMS IN HIS WAKE

DOES FRAUDSTER RALPH SANDERS HAVE PESONAL INFORMATION ON CHRYSLER-JEEP CUSTOMERS ?

RALPH SANDERS, CALIFORNIA'S TRIPLE THREAT: FRAUDSTER, PREDATOR & PEDOPHILE

CALIFORNIA CAREER CRIMINAL RALPH SANDERS CONTINUES TO TARGET FEMALE VICTIMS

RALPH SANDERS - INSIDE THE MIND OF A CAREER CRIMINAL

                                            WHO'S WATCHING THE STORE AT FBI ROSEVILLE ?



Saturday, June 26, 2021

WILL A GREYLISTED MALTA, NOW HURTING, CROSS THE AMERICAN RED LINE ON RUSSIA ?

 

 While most Maltese businessmen are wringing their hands in agony, following the action of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which Greylisted their country, making it the first EU Member to suffer such sanctions, an even bigger threat could appear on the horizon, one which might cause substantial additional injury. The problem is, most of Malta's citizens and residents aren't aware of it, and the potential for massive problems. We are talking about Malta's new, and secret, relationship with Russia.

If you were not paying attention while at university when European History was being taught, kindly read the (declassified) National Security Decision Directive 213, signed by no less than President Ronald Reagan himself, which details America's longstanding, and consistent, foreign policy towards Russia. The United States supports the democratic, neutral and nonaligned Republic of Malta, so long as Human Rights are respected and maintained.  It also specifically supports the Nationalist Party, and any elements of the Labour Party "who show willingness to preserve democratic norms." 

Maltese will reassuringly find that it reflects America's supportive positive attitude towards their nation. What it does NOT support is overt Russian military influence. Given Russia's occupation of the Crimea, and support of alleged separatists in the Ukraine, any Russian naval or military presence in Malta, even if limited to only the use of harbour and port facilities by warships, would constitute a Red Line for the United States. 

The National Security Decision Directive is quite clear on that point. The US would regard it as an "Unfriendly Act and respond accordingly. " An Unfriendly Act " is a conduct (act or omission) of a subject of international law which inflicts a disadvantage, disregard or discourtesy on another subject of international law, without violating any legal norm."

If a desperate Malta, feeling a severe economic downturn as the direct result of the FATF Greylisting, cozies up to Russia for financial support, and is required to allow Russian warships and troops into the country, to include resupplying its fleets, and to allow its sailors liberty on the streets of Valletta, there will be unspecified consequences. Does this mean that the US will continue to oppose a FATF decision to remove it from the Greylist ? And what about the countries of the EU will they implement their own sanctions ?

These are serious issues for Malta to consider, before allowing Valletta shopkeepers to accept Rubles for their wares. Remember, the US can seriously isolate Malta from the global, US Dollar-based financial structure, which would prove disastrous for the country, whose economy is dominated by its offshore sector. We hope that whatever financial benefits Russia has promised Malta, we trust that its beleaguered leadership must realize that the unintended consequences might prove fatal to the Maltese economy. Are you paying attention, Mr. Prime Minister  and Mr. Foreign Minister ?








MALTESE MP JASON AZZOPARDI CALLS OUT MALTA'S LABOUR GOVERNMENT FOR CRIME AND CORRUPTION


 

These are the main points covered by anti-corruption campaigner and Maltese MP Jason Azzopardi in his anti-corruption speech before Parliament this past week. It has been translated into English from the original Maltese, but it is not an official verbatim transcript or complete translation.  

1. A few hours ago, we have just had confirmation that Malta has been put on the Greylist, simply because those sitting on the Government benches chose to defend the criminals and the corrupt, and thereby betrayed the National Interest.

2. Malta is now in the same league with Zimbabwe, Botswana, Syria, Panama and the Cayman Islands, simply because they chose the criminals and the corrupt over the interests of the workers and pensioners as youth.

3.This has its origins in 2013, when Joseph Muscat made a clean sweep of the honest, loyal public servants with a sense of National Duty. The pity and the tragedy is that now it is the workers, all of use who will have to pick up the pieces.

4. When I remember how much work was undertaken post-1987 by a new PN administration to repair the international reputation of Malta and which has now gone down the drain, I become livid. Yes, I am angry because all of this could have been avoided had the Government taken heed of the multifarious calls, notices, warnings and protests by the Opposition and Civil Society and constituted bodies after 2013.

5. In the last eight years, you have kicked our international reputation in order to defend the corrupt Konrad Mizzi, who is still running free on our streets, and is still a Member of this House !

6. When is Konrad Mizzi going to be arrested ?

7. In order to defend Paul Apap Bologna, Yorgen Fenech, and Maksar, you have unleashed untold harm and suffering unto workers, and unto those owning a small business.

8. I have lost count of the many times we came here to demand action after the Panama Papers. and you attacked us, me, David Casa, Simon Busittil, Karol Aquilina, and Roberta Metsola, with a ruthless character assassination, and called us traitors, and you defended the corrupt Konrad Mizzi. You are the traitors of Malta !

9.Your only interest was to line your pockets with our money.

10. You have buried the name of Malta.

11.Whosoever is the cause of the problem cannot be the solution to that problem.

12. What did you think when Joseph Muscat went to the European Parliament  during the Malta presidency in 2017, and took the Mickey out of all the MEPs, in order to defend his non-action over the Panama Papers ? Did you think that the USA and other countries would not take notice ?

13. You have defended the corrupt Joseph Muscat, and you have defended the corrupt Chris Cardona. Did you think that it is O.K. for foreign corporations to have an ex-minister mentioned as a conspirator in Daphne's murder, and for a sitting minister to be named as an accomplice in a bank heist ?

14. I address the Police Commissioner, who today has ended his one-year probationary period; When are you going to arrest Konrad Mizzi ?

15. You were all accomplices to the lies of Joseph Muscat, who wanted to sow the blatant lie that Simon Busuttil had been recommended for criminal action in the Egrant Magisterial Inquiry, and for eighteen months, you hammered and repeated this obscene lie, when you knew that it was a lie, with the complicity of Owen Bonnici !

16. You have sowed the wind. Is it fair now that the people, the honest businessmen, will reap the whirlwind ?

17. You have thrown us in the same league as Panama, because you are all very comfortable with Panama.

18. You have defended the corruption of Nexia BT; all of you continued giving them direct orders in spite of knowing its corruption.

19. You have assassinated the character of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and then, when she was going to out your corruption with Electrogas, you have killed her; you have butchered her. Shame on you traitors !

20. This country sorely needs the PN to turn a new page; you cannot solve the problem you have created on all of us.

21. This is a direct result of the mentality that it is acceptable for sitting ministers to WhatsApp Yorgen Fenech after being outed as the owner of 17 Black in 2018, asking him for money to fund a survey in an electoral district, to ask him if he was O.K., and to tell him how you missed him, how he always believed in you !!

22. This country needs a new hope. Let us get rid of this bunch of criminals, who are raiding the country's coffers, to become millionaires. That new hope can only be given by the PN, led by Bernard Grech.


 

 

 

Friday, June 25, 2021

U.S. TOLD MALTA THAT MUSCAT WAS THE BENEFICIAL OWNER OF EGRANT, BUT ABELA CHOSE TO BURY THE EVIDENCE

 

                                     Read the truth about EGRANT below

 According  the opinion of  reliable legal experts, the principal reason that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Greylisted Malta this week is the country's total failure to enforce its newly-passed laws on corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing. Apparently, one member of the Labour Government was so incensed by his leaders' failure to evade Greylisting, that he has turned whistleblower. His disclosures, which are stunning, should result in an immediate, grassroots public call for the resignation of Prime Minister Robert Abela, 

According to the whistleblower, who has first-hand knowledge of the facts, a representative of the United States Government, on an official basis, informed the Government of Malta (Abela) that it has clear and convincing evidence that the Beneficial Owner of EGRANT was Joseph Muscat. Abela, who was formerly Muscat's legal advisor before becoming PM, chose to conceal that information from the public.

The source of the evidence proffered by the US was no other than Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, the owner of Pilatus Bank. Anyone familiar with the "Kitchen Safe" story knows precisely why Sadr would be in possession of that evidence.While it is commonly believed that Michele Muscat held the stock, this new information actually makes more sense, given Joseph Muscat's known propensity to be controlling and dominating.This new information may explain the hard American position at FATF; Malta failed in its duty to follow its laws.

We cannot disclose the identity of either the whistleblower or the American Diplomat, for there is a well-placed fear that they will be n personal danger, from Labour's most zealous supporters, should their names become known. Suffice it to say both parties are senior in their respective positions.

If the failure of Prime Minister Robert Abela is not sufficient grounds for his resignation, we honestly do not know what would be. Abela should have seen that a bill of indictment was returned against Joseph Muscat, and made this information public, upon receipt of same.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

WILL MALTA RECOVER THE ESTIMATED €100m HIDDEN IN KEITH SCHEMBRI'S BANK ACCOUNTS ABROAD ?

                                           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.

MUSCAT'S REACTION TO THE FATF DECISION TO GREYLIST MALTA: LEAVE THE COUNTRY, FAST

 

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

SHOCK AND AWE AS THE FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE GREYLISTS MALTA

 


 

 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.

SHOULD AG GARLAND " THROW THE BUMS OUT" OR KEEP THEM ?

 


 

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

MONEYVAL VS. FATF; UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE


 

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

KENNETH RIJOCK'S FINANCIAL CRIME BLOG FEATURED IN FEEDSPOT TOP 15 FINANCIAL CRIME BLOGS

 

 


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:

https://blog.feedspot.com/financial_crime_blogs/ 

 



MALTA FOLLOWS PANAMA DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

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."


 

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Sunday, June 20, 2021

OBSTRUCTION CASE AGAINST LONGTIME ASSET OF AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY; PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT OR THE HAND OF TRUMP ?


 

 

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.

 

THIS BLOG PUBLISHES THE FACTS THAT CORRUPT LEADERS DON'T WANT YOU TO READ

 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

LEGAL INSANITY: MALTA'S NEW REGULATIONS WILL ALLOW NONLAWYERS TO RENDER LEGAL OPINIONS AND GIVE ADVICE

 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

CONVICTED FRAUDSTER'S MALTA ATTORNEY DENIES HE WAS INVOLVED, BUT THE EVIDENCE SPEAKS LOUDER

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 http://www.icjk.sk  .

(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

MALTA'S MONEY LAUNDERING PILATUS BANK WAS SENDING BITCOIN TO HAMAS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

 

 

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

SLOVAKIA'S MOST NOTORIOUS $75m CONVICTED FRAUDSTER, MARIAN KOCNER, HAD A $6m ACCOUNT AT BOV, AND MANY MALTA CONNECTIONS

 



 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  https://www.icjk.sk

WILL THERE BE A RUSSO-AMERICAN PRISONER EXCHANGE ?

  

                                                                     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

WAS THE SDNY CASE AGAINST ALI SADR HASHEMI NEJAD DELIBERATELY TORPEDOED BY TRUMP APPOINTEES ?



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 ?


ONLY FORTY MONTHS' SENTENCE FOR MOVING $24m FOR MEXICAN CARTELS ? ARE YOU KIDDING ME ??

                                   $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

GOVERNMENT WITNESS REFUSES TO NAME SCHEMBRI AND HILLMAN AT MONEY LAUNDERING CASE, IS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY

 

                    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

ARE TRUMP HOLDOVERS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DELAYING THE INDICTMENT OF FINANCIAL CRIMINALS LINKED TO TRUMP AND THE REPUBLICANS ?

 

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.

 

CROSSOVER DREAMS IN MALTA, OR WHY NOTHING EVER GETS DONE IN GOVERNMENT

                     


 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.