Former owner of Pilatus bank Ali Sadr Hasheminejad may be cooperating with US law enforcement to fight Maltese financial crime, according to a high profile financial crime blog.
“Maltese businessmen and government officials…are feeling the long arm of the American justice system reaching out for them, and they are scared,” Kenneth Rijock said making reference to developments in Sadr’s case.
Earlier this week, the US government dropped its case against the Pilatus owner who was convicted of violating US sanctions against Iran earlier this year.
The unusual move has led Rijock to believe that Sadr may be a “cooperating individual” working with the US legal system to indict Maltese money launderers.
“In fact, some of the indictments may already have resulted from Grand Jury action, and are only sealed because the Malta defendants are outside the jurisdiction of the United States,” the blog continued.
While no concrete evidence is in place to suggest as such, Rijock backs his theory by claiming that those involved in Malta’s money laundering schemes have ceased visits to the United Kingdom so as to avoid being extradited to the United States.
“This means that if a Maltese citizen wanted in the US happens to enter the UK, he or she most likely will be taken into custody upon arrival, and end up in front of a United States Magistrate Judge in New York, Washington DC, or Miami. That’s why the pleasure trips to London have, for the most part, stopped. Some Maltese have cancelled all their trips abroad, fearing that they may, inadvertently, be caught in the American web of extradition treaties,” he said.
The financial crime blogger also claims to know of “at least one prominent Maltese national” who moved his daughter out of the US and permanently relocated her to Germany out of fear that she may face collateral damage and be charged as part of a money-laundering scheme.
“Are there sealed indictments of Malta’s laundrymen and their clients? We cannot say, but sooner or later we should find out, when one shows up in chains in the United States, and things start to get ugly for Malta’s bad actors. Until then, expect sleepless nights for Malta’s financial criminals,” the blog ended.