Konrad Mizzi’s attempts and failures to open banks across the globe raised investigators’ eyebrows, former FIAU manager Jonathan Ferris has confirmed under oath, with numerous suspicious secret trips to China and Montenegro while serving as minister also raising concern.
Banks in non-high risk jurisdiction were reluctant to open an account for Mizzi, Ferris explained, given that he was a politically exposed person. These even included areas like Miami, Panama, Bahamas and Dubai.
“Instead, Mizzi had offered €4,000 to the banks just to open the accounts in these jurisdictions,” Ferris told the public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Mizzi’s suspicious movements don’t end there. An unexplained credit card transaction in Montenegro following the Electrogas deal raised investigators’ eyebrows.
Meanwhile, they also uncovered that Mizzi secretively travelled to China at least 17 times while serving as Minister, staying in hotels despite his family being nearby.
Mizzi’s movements are corroborated by the use of his private credit card. All of the information was gathered before the Panama Papers reveal.
During the sitting, Ferris said the FIAU believed there was enough reasonable suspicion to believe financial crime was being committed.
The disgraced former minister has long been linked to several corruption allegations, namely with the Electrogas Deal and Vitals Global Healthcare. He also played a central figure in the Panama Papers revelations.
He is currently subject to several magisterial inquiries and was made to resign last December. However, he was recently in the news once again after it was revealed he had bagged at €80,000 consultancy, which has since been terminated.