Published: March 6, 2016 at 12:07pm

Read it here.

They’re so dirty. They were dirty before they got into government. That’s when they struck many of their deals and that’s how they got so much money for their seemingly unlimited campaign war chest. The main reason they wanted to get into government was to strike deals like this. That’s what Muscat really meant when he said that he would run Malta “like a business”.

Yes, a corrupt business, with mysterious people taking ‘introduction fees’ and ‘10% commission’ – known throughout the civilised world as kickbacks, backhanders and bribes. They’ve turned Malta into a Costa Del Sol for criminals and money-launderers far bigger than we can ever imagine.

The Prime Minister is asked at a press call whether he knew that his chief of staff has companies in the secret jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands (besides Panama) and he says: “Iva, kont naf li ghandu strutturi internazzjonali imma ma nafx x’inhuma.”

What? He knew that Keith Schembri had “strutturi internazzjonali”, at the time he appointed him chief of staff, and he didn’t bother finding out what they are? He was supposed to have carried out a thorough due diligence exercise before appointing somebody so close to him.

But then we shouldn’t believe that. We shouldn’t believe that the Prime Minister didn’t know his chief of staff has companies (plural) in the British Virgin Islands as well as Panama. And if we believe that, it is almost as bad – because not knowing and not bothering to ask is almost as irresponsible.

But he knew. Of course he knew.

What Ivan Camilleri describes in this article is – perhaps unbeknown to him or he’s just not permitted to say it – typical money-laundering strategy. You open up several companies concurrently or at brief intervals, then close them down a year later or less. Then you open up several more either in the same jurisdiction or another one and repeat the process. Not to draw attention to what you’re doing, you move between jurisdictions, so that no red flag goes up on all the opening and closing of companies which are just a few months old.

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