UPDATED/PANAMAGATE: Brian Tonna of Nexia BT works for Indian money-laundering suspect Lalit Modi

Published: March 4, 2016 at 1:59pm

Last November, India Today published a news report which includes an email showing clearly that Brian Tonna of Nexia BT and his business associate Karl Cini are working for Indian businessman and suspect operator Lalit Modi, 52, who is wanted in India for money-laundering, taking kickbacks, corruption and the embezzlement of millions by abusing his position at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Modi has since been banned for life by the BCCI.

UPDATE/Shortly before India’s Enforcement Directorate launched a full-scale investigation into his financial dealings, Lalit Modi moved his family to London. The Government of India revoked his passport in 2010, leaving him without travel documents and unable to leave the United Kingdom. In 2013, Lalit Modi began applying to the British government for temporary travel papers so as to be able to go to Portugal where his wife was receiving cancer treatment. With the help of Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is known as the ‘Teflon MP’ because he has survived many episodes that would have eliminated other politicians, he obtained those travel documents in 2014 for a period until 2016.

At that stage, Modi already had contacts with Malta. In this article published in The Huffington Post in India you will see copies of emails he sent in which he thanks his unnamed “friends in Malta” for their help in working on his travel arrangements.

Modi then proceeded to use those documents to travel to various places, including Paris, the Caribbean and Malta, which he visited for the first time in August 2014. As he Instagrammed and tweeted photographs showing him having a good time all over the place, the media in India went wild, calling for his head and the heads of those who issued the travel documents.

Modi was all over the news in India again last year as controversy over the failure to arrest him abroad and return him to India to face investigation and prosecution escalated into what the Indian media called ‘Modigate’. The Opposition parties accused the ruling political party of shielding him. Interpol issued a blue notice in his regard (“to locate, identify or obtain information on a person of interest in a criminal investigation”). But in June last year, another scandal broke out in India when Modi took a selfie with Ronald Noble, who headed Interpol between 2000 and 2014, and uploaded it to his Instagram account while at a match in Barcelona. In the caption, he referred to Noble as “my brother”.

Outrage in the Indian media increased when leaked emails between Ron Noble, his brother James Noble and Lalit Modi were published. Karl Cini and Brian Tonna of Nexia BT, who set up asset-concealing structures for the Maltese Prime Minister’s chief of staff and his Health and Energy Minister, in Panama and the British Virgin Islands, are copied in on several of these emails.

Brian Tonna of Nexia BT is currently at the epicentre of the Panamagate scandal in Malta, for having set up asset-concealing structures in Panama and New Zealand for two politically exposed persons (PEPs) – the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri and the Prime Minister’s chief minister, Konrad Mizzi. Tonna has been Schembri’s financial advisor and accountant for several years, and has also set up asset-concealing (money-laundering/Libya) and tax-evasion companies for him in the British Virgin Islands. The Prime Minister appointed Schembri his chief of staff in 2013 when Schembri was already in possession of those asset-concealing structures in BVI and when Brian Tonna of Nexia BT, who has been given several lucrative government contracts since 2013, was fully aware of Schembri’s secrets because he was the one who set them up.

Last summer, Lalit Modi was in Malta and even tweeted from the Upper Barakka Gardens, Mdina and Tigne Point, creating another storm of outrage in India, with the press and politicians there asking what he was doing on the Mediterranean island, and why the Maltese police failed to detain him.

Lalit Kumar Modi, the Indian businessman who is the subject of a money-laundering and kickbacks investigation in India, which he fled in 2010.

Lalit Kumar Modi, the Indian businessman who is the subject of a money-laundering and kickbacks investigation in India, which he fled in 2010.

Brian Tonna of Nexia BT, who is working for Lalit Kumar Modi

Brian Tonna of Nexia BT, who is working for Lalit Kumar Modi

email Brian Tonna

email Brian Tonna 1

IndiaToday 1

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