Malta Financial Services Authority’s Banking Unit summoned en masse before Magistrate Consuelo Herrera

Published: May 18, 2017 at 5:12pm

Management and staff at the Malta Financial Services Authority’s Banking Unit were summoned en masse today before Magistrate Consuelo Herrera, whose brother is a member of the cabinet of government – Environment Minister Jose Herrera – and whose long-term boyfriend is a consultant to the Prime Minister.

Magistrate Herrera is leading the inquiry into how a compliance report into Pilatus Bank, prepared by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit and not by the MFSA, was leaked to The Sunday Times.

A compliance report is not an investigation report. Compliance reports are what the FIAU write up and send to the firms at which they have carried out routine or exceptional monitoring exercises on the firm’s actual premises. A copy is also sent to the Malta Financial Services Authority.

An investigation report is what the FIAU sends to the police after special investigations into suspected money-laundering transactions. For reasons that will be obvious, a copy is not sent to the subject of the investigation.

Pilatus Bank filed a formal request for prosecution (‘kwerela’) with the police, because the leaking of compliance reports is a crime. In its request, it asked the police to investigate who leaked the report and then prosecute them.

The police then passed the buck to the duty magistrate for an inquiry, rather than investigating themselves as is their job. More conveniently still, they waited until government-friendly Consuelo Herrera, who was rejected by the Commission for the Administration of Justice as a suitable candidate to be made a judge because of the way she entertains politicians, was on duty.

Magistrate Consuelo Herrera, seen here at a show with the Prime Minister’s wife, Mrs Michelle Muscat, is conducting an inquiry into who leaked the FIAU’s compliance report about Pilatus Bank.