David Gonzi: statement released to the press this morning

Published: July 29, 2015 at 10:53am

David Gonzi

Press Statement issued by Dr David Gonzi
29th July 2015

With reference to today’s report in some sections of the media mentioning my name in connection with the investigations being carried out by the Italian authorities, I would like to reiterate the following.

1. I am a one-third shareholder in GVM Limited. On the 2nd of December 2014 I was appointed as the third director of the company. This company is fully licensed to operate as a fiduciary company in terms of the Trusts and Trustees Act. This means that although the name of the ultimate beneficial owner of a client company is not known to the public, the full details of all the beneficiaries are available upon request to the Maltese authorities However, in the case of gaming companies, all these details must be disclosed to the Malta Gaming Authority before a licence is issued.

2. In addition, in all cases of companies that have a gaming licence, the Maltese authorities carry out extensive and rigorous due diligence processes to verify that the ultimate beneficiaries are of good standing. In the case of all such GVM clients, including the ones being investigated, the Maltese Gaming Authority and the company’s Banks successfully completed this due diligence process.

3. GVM itself carried out its own due diligence process to ascertain that the individuals concerned were of good standing. This was done by requesting certified copies of the ultimate shareholders’ passports, proof of residential address, as well as copies of their police conduct records.

4. Since my first contact in October 2013and since becoming a director in December 2014, we have never ever had any reason to suspect that the companies mentioned in the investigation were involved in any unlawful activity whether in Malta or elsewhere.

5. It was only on this basis that the companies involved were accepted as clients of GVM.

6. So far, the Italian Authorities have not approached me. I have already taken action to provide all the necessary information to the Maltese authorities, including the MFSA and the FIAU (Malta Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit). I shall also be directly contacting myself, over the coming days, Italian and Maltese police authorities to clarify my position.

7. However, at this stage I must clarify that the report drawn up by the Italian investigators is factually incorrect as it fails to recognise that GVM is a licensed fiduciary company which holds shares on behalf of beneficial owners disclosed and approved by the Malta Gaming Authority, that I am one of three shareholders and that I have only been appointed as Director since December 2014.

8. In a 770 page document, it would be expected that a statement that I am involved “at the centre” of the network should have been backed up by some sort of evidence of which obviously there is none. In all fairness, the report itself states that the conclusion ‘requires further investigation’ and is ‘pending necessary further investigation’.