BREAKING/Prime Minister’s chief of staff took kickbacks from Brian Tonna on sale of Maltese citizenship

Published: April 24, 2017 at 11:50pm

Before reading this post, you will need to read this for background.

Early last year, BT International Ltd handled the purchase of Maltese citizenship for a Russian family. Willerby Trade Inc invoiced it for 50% of the fees.

Both BT International Ltd and Willerby Trade Inc are wholly owned by Brian Tonna, but back then he was secure in the knowledge that nobody would ever find out that he owns Willerby Trade because it is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands with his ownership hidden by Mossack Fonseca nominees in Panama. He could never have foreseen the Panama Papers.

Willerby Trade Inc received the money into its account at Pilatus Bank. It then kicked back a significant part of the funds to Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, through Schembri’s accounts at Pilatus Bank and the Bank of Valletta.

The Prime Minister’s chief of staff does not take my calls, so I contacted Brian Tonna for his comments. Despite receiving replies to earlier emails, I have received no reply to this one.

L to R: Brian Tonna, Joseph Muscat and Karl Cini at Nexia BT’s offices in 2013, when Muscat had just become prime minister.