GUEST POST: When institutions fail, the country fails

Published: May 8, 2017 at 2:34pm

This guest post is written by a senior accountant who works for a major corporation.

No wonder Manfred Galdes resigned his position as chief of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit last year. So, the chairman of the FIAU is the Attorney-General. The members of the board include Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta, who controls the Economic Crimes Unit, and who is married to a member of the cabinet of government.

Police Commissioner Michael Cassar receives the first FIAU report into the Panama Papers scandal and, afraid of taking action, he resigns the same day.

Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, who replaces him, pretends that the report doesn’t exist. He receives another two, and pretends that they don’t exist either.

All along, this group of people who head Malta’s main institutions were aware of the corruption and money laundering activity going on with Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri, Adrian Hillman, and Brian Tonna, involving also Pilatus Bank, but they chose to do nothing.

How could Manfred Galdes stay on? One can only imagine how his working life turned to hell.

We now also know that Superintendent Ian Abdilla, who leads the Police Economic Crimes Unit, is also part of the magisterial inquiry into Egrant Inc and related matters, and this when he has been sitting on the FIAU reports, and on a concluded investigation into John Dalli’s daughter, for a year.

This is a classic case of institutions which have failed the country. These are the very things which scare away investment. Law-abiding investors want stability, peace of mind and reassurance that institutions and state authorities function properly, and that they are there to protect society against corruption.

Malta’s rankings in corruption indexes are now bound to be abysmally bad. The consequences of that for investment are dire.

Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta, with his wife Justyne Caruana, a member of the cabinet of government: he is a member of the board of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit

The Attorney-General, Peter Grech, seen here in a box at the theatre with the Justice Minister and the Minister’s girlfriend, a propagandist on the Labour Party’s payroll. Grech is chairman of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit.