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Pilatus Bank And Official To Be Charged With Financial Crimes

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Pilatus Bank and an official from the controversial bank will be charged in court on money laundering charges.

The bank and a 41-year-old woman from Sliema will be charged at 1pm. The woman is believed to be Claude-Anne Sant Fournier.

Sources told Lovin Malta that arrest warrants for foreign nationals have also been issued.

Pilatus Bank was recently fined €4,975,500 by the FIAU for breaching money laundering and terrorism financing rules.

The bank was at the centre of corruption and money laundering claims against a number of high-ranking officials that formed part of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s administration.

On 20th April 2017, assasinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia claimed that the bank held an account for the Panama company Egrant, which she had claimed Muscat’s wife Michelle was the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO).

Caruana Galizia had also claimed that former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri and other associates including former John Dalli held an account at the bank. The inquiry had shown that both men did in fact hold accounts at the bank.

Schembri’s account at the bank has been central to corruption and money laundering charges brought against them.

A magisterial inquiry into the allegation could not find any evidence linking Muscat to the company, though it did not determine who the company’s UBO was.  It did however uncover a dual filing system likely intended to withhold key documents from authorities.

The inquiry also ordered the police to probe the bank for potential money laundering activities.

The bank’s license was eventually withdrawn in October 2018 following the arrest in the United States of the bank’s chairman Ali Sadr Hasheminejad.

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Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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