Council of Europe should evaluate Malta taking into account the revelations of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and the Forbidden Stories consortium

Council of Europe should evaluate Malta taking into account the revelations of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and the Forbidden Stories consortium

Paris, July 13th 2018 – The French and Maltese anti-corruption organizations, Sherpa and Il-Kenniesa, request to MONEYVAL, a monitoring body of the Council of Europe entrusted with the task of assessing compliance with the principal international standards in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism (AML/FT), to monitor the practices of the Maltese Services Financial Authority (MFSA), and to take into account in particular the Pilatus Bank case in the setting of the 5th Round Evaluation of Malta.

While the European Banking Authority has decided to open an official investigation in May 2018 on the Maltese authorities’ failure to supervise the Pilatus bank, Sherpa and II-Kenniesa are placing an official request to MONEYVAL to monitor the MFSA in relation to the facts denounced by Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In their request, both organizations stress the importance of MONEYVAL’s role as a leading international partner in the global network of AML / CFT evaluation bodies and as an associate member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

For the record, the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, murdered on October 16, 2017, discovered links between Pilatus bank and the Maltese government and also the existence of bank accounts opened by relatives of the Azeri regime. She suspected Pilatus bank of laundering funds.

Following her assassination, the investigative consortium “Forbidden Stories” launched the “Daphne Project” which continues the investigations of the journalist. They were able to confirm that the Pilatus bank would have served as a cover for the two most powerful families in Azerbaijan, the president and his minister for Emergencies, to transfer money to Europe and invest in different sectors of the economy from dummy companies established in Malta. All these companies have accounts with the Pilatus bank.

To date, the MFSA only froze Pilatus Bank’s assets and failed to investigate last year on the facts denounced.