Manfred Galdes, the ex-director of the FIAU who authored damning reports into government corruption, is appearing before the public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
At the start of April 2016, the police received an FIAU report authored by Galdes concerning two bank transactions of €50,000 each from a British Virgin Islands (BVI) registered company owned by Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna to Keith Schembri’s bank account at Pilatus Bank.
The payment came just as Nexia BT received payments from three Russian passport buyers, with the FIAU believing there was sufficient evidence to establish reasonable suspicion of money laundering and/ or the existence of proceeds of crime.
Schembri and Tonna have denied the claims. They’ve said it was Tonna repaying back a personal loan. However, authorities are yet to locate a receipt of the initial loan payment.
Three weeks after receiving the report, Police Commissioner Michael Cassar resigned from his post, citing ill health. Within a few months, Galdes had stepped down as FIAU director.
Galdes is also the author of a separate damning report into Pilatus Bank, where he flagged serious issues about their relationships with PEPs.
Rumours have suggested that the pair stepped down because of the lack of action against Schembri, Tonna, and former Minister Konrad Mizzi.
While Galdes has never confirmed or denied these rumours, Cassar requested that journalists’ leave the room when discussing the issue to the public inquiry.