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.

52 Comments Comment

  1. deludedenfranchised says:

    So that’s what was ferried to Baku at 4am on that mysterious flight.

  2. Robert Farrugia says:

    A great pity the police didn’t ‘raid’ Pilatus Bank in time.

  3. Peter Pan says:

    Was this part of the roadmap?

  4. M. says:

    When Heydar Aliyev was only 11, he owned millions of dollars worth of property in Dubai. Perhaps the Muscats see him as a role model for The Twins.

  5. A Caffari says:

    Muscat said he wanted Malta to be more like Singapore. That is bad enough considering what Singapore actually is, but it looks more like he wants Malta to be the Panama of Eurasia.

  6. J Sammut says:

    “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.”

    They should have named it The Aliyev Piggy Bank.

    Ilham Aliyev is a family man.

  7. A Caffari says:

    “Dritt għal ġol ħajt” was a lie. The truth is “Dritt għal ġol fossa”.

  8. And when you get to the end, you’ll find the Commissioner of Police has eaten the rabbit.

  9. Me says:

    Another sociopath.

  10. La Redoute says:

    The story’s been picked up outside Malta. Politico’s already run a few reports.

  11. La Redoute says:

    And China.

  12. scotlandthebrave says:


  13. Manuel Camilleri says:

    Next time Coconut Farrugia phones you before 7am, send him to hell.

    And please, show him a closeup of the photo on their secret visit to Baku and especially of his facial expression while listening to the corrupt Azerbaijani representatives.

  14. Fox says:

    Interbank transfers that use SWIFT record account number of company (not that of its beneficiaries which were meant to remain hidden until now).

    Transfer of funds between the clients of Pilatus Bank do not even use international SWIFT transfers.

  15. Mark says:

    I don’t know if it is a good thing or not that foreign news agencies have not caught wind of what is happening in Malta.

  16. A Caffari says:

    Unfortunately the EU can only interfere in matters that fall under the EU fiscal compact which incorporates the Stability & Growth Pact and the European Stability Mechanism. Basically only fiscal issues.

    However, that does not mean that the presidency of the EU cannot put pressure on Malta to straighten up… oh wait. Malta currently hold the presidency.

  17. T. Vella says:


  18. RosB says:

    No, SWIFT is used for international transfers not in EUR – and one important key feature is that payment orders must be settled by the correspondent bank accounts that the institutions have with each other.

    In banking terms an internal transfer means a simple transfer from one account to the other within the same bank.

  19. Gafa says:

    I’m really sick a tired of this corruption. It’s actually affecting my daily life. I cannot stop thinking about this filth and how they are able to get away with it.

  20. RosB says:

    The IBAN is required for SEPA payments which are in EUR only.

  21. RosB says:

    Remember another lie before the last general election, when Joseph Muscat promised us: “Tolleranza zero ghall-korruzzjoni” u “Kultura tar-rizenji”.

  22. Only to have everything destroyed by Labour again. These last four years have proved that there really is no cure for the Malta Labour Party. Instead of improving in Opposition, it gets worse and more corrupt.

  23. RosB says:

    No wonder Simon Busuttil described them as: “Mafia minn Kastilja” which basically summarizes everything.

  24. RosB says:

    It’s the Mafia Labour Party more like it.

  25. Speechless says:

    Nothing but a fake bank to launder money. In Malta. Do we need to discuss whether the Prime Minister, the whole cabinet, the Commissioner of Police and Joe Bannister should resign?

    Come one, just get this mess sorted as Malta is now doomed to go in deep shit. The repercussions are insurmountable and the more we do the clean up fast, the better. Only Simon Busuttil can do the cleanup.

  26. Peritocracy says:

    At this point, even the owner of Pilatus Bank himself looks like a stooge, with the Aliyevs being the UBOs.

    • T Brincat says:

      It is their involvement that got him flying in. If it is just about Michelle Muscat I’m not sure he would have bothered.

  27. Melissa says:

    I’m thinking how Joseph Muscat and entourage got introduced to the whole outfit, and by who. I don’t think Muscat sauntered up to them with the deal.

  28. Mikhail Tal says:

    I remember reading this and saying to myself, it looks like Malta is in shit. I was wrong, we are completely covered with it.

  29. Major Tom says:

    Malta is now a corruption and money laundering hub run by a criminal gang and the E.U. can no longer afford to appear weak and toothless. However, that will take time.

    I think we need to keep the eye on the ball and make it difficult for the election to get rigged. The coalition against corruption should seek international help.

    At the moment we are depending on this website and one formidable journalist, but I fear there is too much going on and having just one big source of problems rather than many is helping Labour.

    There are some young talented journalists who are getting inspired, but we cannot underestimate the size of the tasks and the urgency.

    • Stephen Forster says:

      “The President is known for her honesty and integrity and although she does not have the legal power to remove the Prime Minister, she had the moral authority to ask him to leave in the national interest.” WTF .. ..

  30. Typically Labour says:

    Earlier on this year, the European Central Bank withdrew the licence of Nemea Bank on recommendation of the Malta regulator. Will the Malta Financial Services Authority be making a similar recommendation any time soon or is Bannister enjoying his very own fenkata?

  31. Victor Fenech says:

    This makes you wonder why Joe Bannister travelled to the USA with the Prime MInister to convince American banks to facilitate correspondence banking, knowing that Pilatus bank was flagged by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. Just hide your face in shame and run off, Joe.

  32. Tony says:





  33. Mike Wagstaff says:

    Do you mean immortality? Many would argue that they have already achieved immorality.

  34. Globetotter says:

    You can’t make an omelette without breaking some egos.
    Kudos to you, Daphne.

  35. Sun Tzu says:

    If it were not for the French elections it might have already hit the international news.

  36. Bottom says:

    Looking at the crowd today, the least I can do is thank you for being such an incredible force for good. You brought this crowd together.

    In my mind, at least, you alone are the most effective opposition this country has at present. The most effective press also. You have become a much needed point of reference. You don’t compromise and I believe that that is your strength.

    The insufferable Labour Party elves, trolls, call them what you will, are out in force again all over social media.

    What saddens me most is the mise en scene. It does not require a rocket scientist to suss out that behind all the mindless blabber and nonsensical arguments and demands for proof, what they are all really saying is what they have been saying from day one that they rule the roost now and they’ll bleed the country dry if they wish because it’s their turn to party and woe betide if you attempt to get between them and what they have brazenly appropriated.

  37. I think we will have far more important things on our minds by then.

  38. I see you haven’t worked out that Louis Grech is part of the Muscat/Schembri/Konrad Mizzi/Brian Tonna clique. Tonna has been his accountant for around 16 years. Konrad Mizzi is the son of one of his closest friends.

  39. Please, enough of this. This is a thread about Pilatus Bank and its Azerbaijan clients.

Leave a Comment