Money-laundering facts + documents: Keith Schembri used his Maltese diplomatic passport to open a bank account in Panama in which to receive $50,000 a month

Published: May 8, 2017 at 9:15pm

A secret bank account in Panama for the Maltese Prime Minister’s chief of staff: when Keith Schembri wanted to open an account at FBP Bank in Panama (Konrad Mizzi tried the same thing), he was asked to fill in a standard KYC (know your client) form.

Despite being a major PEP (political exposed person) under the law because of his job and his intimate relationship with the Prime Minister, he gives his occupation as “adviser” and not as “chief of staff to the Prime Minister of a member state of the European Union”, which is his actual job.

In that part of the form where he has to declare the source of funds he will deposit in the Panama bank, Keith Schembri wrote “not applicable (payment of the first invoice)”. He does not say what this invoice is.

He puts down in writing that his Panama bank account will receive a maximum of $50,000 per month ($600,000 a year) by international wire transfer.

Who would Keith Schembri’s secret Panama company, Tillgate Inc, be ‘invoicing’ for $50,000 per month?

You will also see here that he brazenly used his Maltese diplomatic passport to try to open the Panama bank account for the purposes of defrauding the Maltese government he represents, which is why he has that passport in the first place.

Keith Schembri (centre) with Mario Cutajar, the principal permanent secretary and head of the civil service (appointed by Muscat as soon as he came to power)