Maria Efimova has launched a crowdfunding page to raise funds for an application to gain whistleblower status in Malta, as well as have sensitive documents in her possession forensically analysed.
Efimova, a former Pilatus Bank employee from Russia, is said to have found documents indicating declarations of trust allegedly showing Egrant belongs to Michelle Muscat, the wife of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, inside a safe in the bank’s kitchen, and taken a copy.
She eventually fled the country because she and her husband “believed something bad would have happened to Maria too”.
Now, she is trying to raise funds to officially be recognised as a whistleblower in Malta, giving her stronger protection when sharing sensitive information with authorities.
“I am raising funds to be able to apply for Whistleblower Status in Malta, so to help the ongoing investigation of money laundering,” she said on her crowdfunding page. “I have to give evidence in my possession for forensic analysis.”
Since launching (and at the time of writing), Efimova has raised €1,895 euros from a goal of €15,000. 80 people have donated so far, helping her achieve 12% of her goal.
In a recent interview with David Thake, the former PN deputy mayor of St. Paul’s Bay, Efimova and her husband said she is ready to submit important financial documents for forensic testing if she is granted whistleblower status and protection from prosecution as well as having a crowdfunding campaign cover the expensive costs.
During the interview, she explained why she didn’t give certain “essential documents” to Magistrate Aaron Bugeja – the man who oversaw the Egrant inquiry that found no evidence linking Michelle Muscat to Egrant – and lied to him when asked about them.
“I didn’t give him the copies, or any other documents of the company Egrant, and the reason is the magistrate told me that even if I did give him the copies it would be evidence that was acquired in an illegal way,” she had said. “Then I would have a problem. That was the reason that I did not give the copies to the magistrate.”