BREAKING/Malta: Pilatus Bank’s main client is Azerbaijan’s Minister for Emergency Situations

Published: April 23, 2017 at 1:43am

This website can now reveal that the main client at Malta’s Pilatus Bank is Azerbaijan’s long-time Minister for Emergency Situations, Kamaladdin Heydarov, known more cynically in Azerbaijan as ‘the Minister of Everything Significant’.

Sources at the Malta Financial Services Authority told this website that Heydarov has several accounts with the bank, held by different companies of which he is the ultimate beneficial owner.

Kamaladdin Heydarov is the richest and most powerful member of Azerbaijan’s ruling elite after the actual ruler, Ilham Aliyev. He is reported to front for the Aliyev ruling family in part of its extensive business dealings, particularly with a large network of Turkish companies, in addition to laundering his own funds.

Read more about him in Foreign Policy.

Pilatus Bank got its banking licence from the Malta Financial Services Authority, which has been chaired for around two decades by Joe Bannister, in August 2015. The bank’s owner, Seyed Ali Sadr Hashemenijad – who is Iranian but uses different passports issued by St Kitts & Nevis – applied for a banking licence in December 2013. He was just 33 at the time and was not a banker.

He is the man who was caught on camera removing bags of documents from his bank’s premises last Thursday night, accompanied by the bank’s risk manager, Antoniella Gauci.