MALTA: THE AUGUST 2021 FIAU €4.9M FINE AGAINST PILATUS BANK FOR 17 BREACHES OF MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS IS A JOKE, WILL NEVER BE PAID BECAUSE November 2018 the ECB revoked the license of Pilatus Bank after its chairman/owner (Ali Sadr Hasheminejad) was arrested in the USA on money laundering charges


Pilatus Bank owner, Ali Sadr Hasheminejad


Back in 2018, when details of Pilatus Bank’s extensive money laundering activity emerged, Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit should have taken firm action against the bank, its directors, officers and ownership. Now, years too late, we see a fine that will never be collected, and a slap on the wrist upon a long-shuttered financial institution whose license was fast-tracked by Malta’s Labour Government under suspicious circumstances that reeked of corruption.

Obviously, then-Prime Minister Joseph Muscat ordered that no action was to be taken back in 2018, and instructed everyone (prosecutors, Attorney General, Justice Minister, Malta Police and MSS) to drag their heels until it became old news. Justice delayed is justice denied.

It gets worse; we note that the FIAU knew about Pilatus’ money laundering in 2016, and this information was verified in 2017. If there wasn’t an incestuous relationship between Muscat, Keith Schembri, and Konrad Mizzi, and Alireza Hashemi Nejad, Pilatus Bank owner and CEO, the bank would have been exposed years earlier. It is not known how many bribes were paid, and to whom, to secure Pilatus’ banking license, but all three of these individuals are suspected of illicitly profiting from the license approval.

Here is the complete text of the FIAU Notice of Administrative Measure; you are advised to read all of it closely.


BACKGROUND: Malta’s Pilatus Bank shut down over fraud charges

The European Central Bank has revoked the licence of Malta’s Pilatus Bank after its chairman was arrested in the US on money-laundering charges.

Malta’s Financial Services Authority announced the move, saying it had called on the ECB to take action.

Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed by a car-bomb a year ago, accused the bank of processing corrupt payments.

The EU has been investigating the bank ever since her murder.

However, it was not until March that the Maltese authorities froze the bank’s assets, following the arrest of its chairman, Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad.

According to an indictment filed in a federal court in Manhattan, he is accused of involvement in a scheme to evade US economic sanctions against Iran.

The Maltese FSA recommended withdrawing the bank’s licence in June, but the process took longer than expected because of legal obstacles, the ECB has said.

Caruana Galizia reported on Malta for the Panama Papers investigation into offshore accounts which conceal secret payments to politicians and other powerful figures.

She accused Pilatus Bank of various crimes, including dubious payments to senior Maltese and Azerbaijani figures.

Three men suspected of killing her – brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio and their friend Vince Muscat – were arrested during a police operation in December 2017.

They were charged with murder and pleaded not guilty at a court hearing. They remain in custody.


Assassinated 16 October 2017,
the whistleblower who exposed corruption + money laundering by PM Office




Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb outside her home in October 2017. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

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