BREAKING/Malta: Son and daughter of Azerbaijan’s ruler are clients of Pilatus Bank

Published: April 23, 2017 at 1:58am

Sources at the Malta Financial Services Authority have told this website that Pilatus Bank’s next two largest clients, after Kamaladdin Heydarov, Azerbaijan’s Minister for Emergency Situations, are the son and daughter of that country’s ruler, Ilham Aliyev: Heydar Aliyev and Leyla Aliyeva.

Heydar Aliyev had first tried to open an account at the Bank of Valletta, but was refused on the grounds that he is a major politically exposed person from one of the world’s most corrupt countries, and a serious money-laundering risk.

Informed sources told this website that 60% of Pilatus Bank’s deposits belong to Azerbaijani politically exposed persons (PEPs). The bank has no more than 100 clients.

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.

Heydar Aliyev (far left) and his sister Leyla Aliyeva (far right) with their parents Mehriban and Ilham Aliyeva.