|"Whereby they are known not to be gods; therefore, fear them not." Jeremiah 1:16.|
It sounds like something out of an adventure film: investigative journalists uncover a pattern of bribe payments made by a large American company to a just-resigned prime minister of a tax haven country, cleverly paid out in installments as "consulting fees,"through a dodgy Pakistani attorney's shell company in Switzerland. The journalists publicly name & shame the former leader by detailing, chapter and verse, each and every corrupt payment in a front-page news article; Very entertaining.
The problem is, it's real and true. the identification of cleverly disguised bribe payments, reportedly made to former Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, answers an important question that we have had over the past year: why is the United States so concerned about Malta, and Muscat, derided on 10 Downing Street as the "Small man in a small island ?"
We now know the answer; a major American company was alleged involved up to its elbows in paying him substantial bribes to get an important contract that would net it lucrative profits indefinitely. No wonder there was so much interest, on the part of American law enforcement agencies. Muscat had infected and corrupted, and violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act have occurred, not to mention the former Prime Minister's multiple Money Laundering Control Act contraventions.
|Taking out the Trash by COSIMO|
How will all this play out ? Will the Department of Justice in Washington charge Muscat this year, in a major FCPA prosecution where he faces a fistful of money laundering counts ? We cannot say, but we will be watching.