The shiftiness kicks in: Muscat begins slithering around with word games

Published: April 21, 2017 at 3:25am

Muscat said tonight that the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists had no qualms about publishing the names of all politically exposed persons in the Panama Papers.

“But they didn’t publish my wife’s name, which means that she does not own Egrant Inc, because if her name was there, they would have published it.”

What sort of mind-games is he trying to play here to manipulate the unthinking? The hunt has been on for the owner of Egrant Inc, for the last year, precisely because the owner’s name was not included in the Panama Papers as it was given over Skype (voice) rather than in an email.

But that doesn’t mean that Egrant Inc had (the company was liquidated last January) no owner. It simply means that the name of the ultimate beneficial owner was recorded somewhere outside Mossack Fonseca’s server, in the documents that are necessary to record ownership.

There are only three places where those documents can be found: the corporate services provider office which made the arrangements (Nexia BT/Mossack Fonseca), the home or private office of the UBO, and the bank where an account is opened for the company.

The Prime Minister is perfectly positioned to advise the Commissioner of Police to raid the offices of Nexia BT and Pilatus Bank – in a proper democracy the Commissioner of Police wouldn’t take or need any such advice – but we all know that’s not going to happen, and why.

So instead, Muscat puts on a charade of talking about appointing a magistrate and challenging me to take the Egrant Inc documents to the police – as if a journalist should ever do any such thing – while the Police Commissioner himself gripes that he can’t investigate without documents, and then eats rabbit while the bank chairman smuggles the documents out of the building in case the Police Commissioner decides to take a break from munching on bunnies and orders a raid on his bank.

Tomorrow morning, journalists with common sense and an instinct for a story should be camped outside the offices of the Malta Financial Services Authority and the home of its long-time chief, Joe Bannister, who was instrumental in pushing the Pilatus banking licence through, to ask what they plan to do about this “bank” and its licence.

They’re dragging Malta through the gutter and slime, and all they care about is whether they will survive another five years to plunder even more.

“My reputation”, Muscat said tonight. What reputation? He should be bothered about Malta’s reputation, not his. They’ve given financial services the biggest kick downstairs that they possibly could have.

The Malta Financial Services Authority, led by Joe Bannister, gave a banking licence to a 33-year-old Iranian with four different St Kitts & Nevis passports and undeclared and unmonitored sources of wealth. They created a private, shady bank for corrupt and shifty Maltese PEPs and frightening Azerbaijani PEPs.

20 Comments Comment

  1. MrGlobeTrotter says:

    What a joke! How can Malta ever attract the serious international banks and custodians with headline news like this. The Malta Financial Services Authority and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit appear to be sleeping at the wheel while the reputation of Malta’s financial services industry continues to suffer blow after blow.

    • may borg says:

      That is why they must step up their Opposition to the present government. They have to do it now and there’s no hiding and working behind the scene.

      There must be a concerted effort of ALL the key players of this blessed country to stop this madness once and for all. We need huge pressure to make the Triad and their accomplices resign.

      It’s not Simon Busuttil’s work only but a genuine effort from all those who have the wellbeing of our country at heart. Fadal xi ftit irgiel sura?

  2. Yes, I’m onto that – that’s my next story. But we’ve all had too much to absorb already.

  3. callixtus says:

    Every time he’s caught lying, he raises the bar of the next obstacle. Now he wants not only the evidence of ownership and of the transfers conducted, but the original documents themselves, so that the police can verify that they haven’t been forged. I have a very good idea of what would happen to any original document once it is in the hands of our police.

  4. pronoia says:

    It’s evident from tonight that he isn’t going into exile, so now it’s up to us to put them behind bars.

  5. Gahan says:

    Muscat tonight: “I add that, I never signed, nor my wife, any type of document that transfers, any type of a company to me, I never signed, I was never offered to sign.”

    More evidence of playing around with words; one is not required to sign anything to obtain shares in a company, especially if a declaration of trust is involved. A company’s share certificate is signed by the directors, whilst a declaration of trust is signed by authorised reps of the nominee.

  6. Geoff1969 says:

    Can you imagine if something like this happened under a PN led government 4 years ago?

  7. sopradodes says:

    No wonder many Europeans are losing their trust in the European Commission. Something as important as this for a country IN the EU and they leave all in the hands of these crooks.

  8. sopradodes says:

    Daphne outwitted them all! It is right as the country is so corrupt and we had so many scandals that people are getting immune to them.

    The stupid SUPER ONE followers are calling this a frame-up. Can one imagine? Also why not an other demonstration organised against corruption when an EU summit takes place? This banana country needs protection.

    • callixtus says:

      Joseph Muscat is calling it a frame-up. He would have us believe the Panama Papers is a sham, and the Pulitzer laureates at the ICIJ and the hundreds of journalists working on this brilliant piece of work and Mrs Caruana Galizia who broke the news in Malta and has continued to work on the story until she solved the riddle completely, have all been corralled by Simon Busuttil in order to commit a frame-up on a tin-pot dictator of a barren rock in the Mediterranean.

  9. Evarist Bartolo should have made his views about Bannister known in the cabinet of government. That is exactly what it is there for. He is not a pressure group. He is a cabinet minister.

  10. Major Tom says:

    Enough with this. Let us get out on the streets and protest for as long as necessary.

    I also think policemen do not need permission from any commissioner to act in those particular situations. I am sure that within the police force there must be some decent ones who understand how important it is.

    Probably the documents cannot be destroyed as that would make it difficult to recuperate the millions. It is a matter of finding them quickly before further money transfers occur.

  11. Stephen Forster says:

    You are not the only one. I despair that not one international newspaper or TV news portal has not run with this story. Especially with the whole EU presidency bullshit going on in Malta.

    • charles schembri says:

      It is in my nature to give the benefit of the doubt at first instance. But this is sad. Indeed it is telling how none have reported this.

      As for EU. One need to wait till the Presidency is over. And then the future beckons. The matter wont be swept under the carpet. But there wont be any scolding – at least publicly.

  12. may borg says:

    If Labour wins another election, regardless who their leader is, I will disown my own country. Is that possible?

    They based the last election’s propaganda on a damn clock and won by 36000 votes. By how much should they lose after all this dirt?

  13. Can’t stand the headless chickens.

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