Washing machines have been placed in front of PIlatus Bank and the Malta Financial Services Authority.
The action is a clear dig at Pilatus Bank, which has faced several accusations that it was set up to launder money, and at the MFSA for not revoking its license.
Lovin Malta is informed that the washing machine outside the MFSA was set up by a new protest group called #Resistenza but has so far been unable to verify who set up the one outside Pilatus Bank.
It comes hours after Pilatus Bank’s chairman Ali Sadr Hasheminejad was arrested in the United States on charges of illegally funnelling over $115 million from Venezuela to Iranian-controlled companies via US and Swiss banks. According to the indictment by the US Department of Justice, Sadr made use of a St Kitts and Nevis passport and set up a network of companies in Switzerland, Turkey and the British Virgin Islands to hide the involvement of Iran in the transactions and therefore evade US sanctions on his home country.
Pilatus Bank itself is not named in the indictment and no allegations have been made that it was involved in the scheme to evade sanctions.
The MFSA tonight ordered the immediate removal of Ali Sadr as Pilatus Bank director, suspended his voting rights as a bank shareholder, and ordered him to refrain from exercising legal and judicial representation of the bank.