The common factor has to have been Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff

Published: March 5, 2016 at 6:03pm

Look at this tweet which Lalit Modi sent out last August. This is when he came to Malta, went through the airport ministerial lounge (which means no checking of documents or bags) and was met by a chauffeur and car from the Office of the Prime Minister.

During that visit, he tweeted and uploaded Instagram photos provocatively, sending the Indian media into a frenzy of anger.

Modi thanks Promotheus1000 as the “best expert” who “finally got me to come to Malta”. He makes it sound as though this was his first visit, but he had been to Malta incognito the previous summer, as soon as he got temporary travel documents from the British government (he had no passport because the government of India withdrew it in 2010). The Indian media found out he was in Malta when he wasn’t supposed to be travelling, and went wild.

Promotheus1000 is the Twitter handle used by Adrian Hillman, group managing director of Progress Press Ltd and Allied Newspapers Ltd, so that tells me instantly (and probably accurately) that the common factor is Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff and the man whose business is the main supplier to Allied Newspapers/Progress Press.

To make things clear at the outset, I have known Adrian Hillman all my adult life, we were at sixth form college together, and we have a good working relationship as Progress Press prints the magazines I work on and gives and excellent service. I rang him about this and he said that he met Lalit Modi in London some years ago, kept in touch but has heard nothing from him for some months.

We know from emails published in the Indian media that Brian Tonna of Nexia BT is working for Lalit Modi. And here, too, the contact will have come through Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff. Brian Tonna has been the accountant for Keith Schembri’s business for at least 20 years, and he has set up secret asset-concealing companies for Keith Schembri personally in the British Virgin Islands over the years, and another one in Panama more recently when he was a politically exposed person (PEP) already.

Through Mossack Fonseca (Malta), which he owns 100%, Brian Tonna worked on Lalit Modi’s bid for a Maltese passport. It is important to underline that Modi was desperate for a passport because the government of India had withdrawn his and his serious trouble with the Indian authorities meant that the British government wouldn’t give him one either despite his years of residency and “investment” in Britain.

The Indian government withdrew his passport to force him to return to India. States cannot refuse entry to their own citizens, so it is not necessary for Modi to have a passport to return to his own country.

That Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, is the common factor throughout these connections would be the reason why he was ushered through the airport’s ministerial lounge when he landed in Malta in August last year, without checking of bags or documents, and why a chauffeur and car from the Office of the Prime Minister met him there.

How convenient it is for the Prime Minister’s chief of staff that he has asset-and-payment-concealing structures in the British Virgin Islands and Panama.

adrian hillman tweet

adrian hillman tweet lalit modi