Pilatus Bank and the erasure of truth

Published: September 12, 2017 at 7:37pm

Read this story in the Times of Malta about how, a few weeks after Manfred Galdes resigned as director of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit last year, the acting director wrote to Pilatus Bank saying the FIAU no longer had any issues pending with the bank.

Then remember the famous lines from 1984.




18 Comments Comment

  1. quickmick408 says:

    Didn’t expect anything else really, the same will happen with all the magistrates’ investigations via the Attorney General, They’re not in the least bit worried, They have other bank accounts and offshore companies now and the plundering goes on and will do throughout their tenure. The washing machine will be working at full blast and nothing but nothing will come out dirty. Trust me.

  2. Anthony Mercieca says:

    Regrettably, this is Malta. I feel anguished at the way things are going to the dogs.

  3. Godfrey Leone Ganado says:

    This is nothing but a load of bullshit to cover up the skins of the politically exposed persons who are all known to us.

    To me, this is proof that the bagful of documents hijacked from the bank in the dark evening hours through the bank’s backdoor, were the crucial evidence that was not presented to the FIAU inspectors in March 2016 and which were replaced in the meantime and ‘presented’ in the September 2016 report as ‘the find of the century’.

    This proves that the new documents have been made up and replaced to substantiate that the suspicious transactions were after all not suspicious at all because they were there all the time.

    If I were the bank’s auditor and was faced with a similar situation, I would have resigned immediately and made known to the audit firm replacing me that this client thinks that auditors are fools.

    I challenge Pilatus Bank and the FIAU to publish the ‘found’ documents with all details and to send them to me for my appraisal on a ‘no fee’ basis.

    • La Redoute says:

      Weren’t Pilatus Bank’s auditors KPMG? I though that that was a reputable firm.

      • Godfrey Leone Ganado says:

        KPMG is a very reputable firm and from what I read in the Pilatus Bank Annual Report for 2016, just published, it seems that they will not be renewing their appointment.

        Directors’ Report under the heading Auditors (page v):

        “The Bank and the external auditors are presently re-assessing the appointment of the statutory auditors for 2017, which are to be proposed at the next Annual General Meeting”.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        KPMG were, if I recall correctly, heavily involved in the application for licensing. Indeed many of the staff (including the Risk Manager leaving the bank at night as well as the MLRO/Head of Legal/a Director) are or were ex-KPMG.

  4. Odyssey says:

    The MLP excels at re-writing history. Exactly like 31 March, 1979. The end of the military lease by the British (which expired and was not renewed) became ‘Freedom Day’. In reality, it started the occupation era by Gheddafi.

    In a few years, the young people will think that it was the MLP that fought hard for EU membership.

  5. I know they were threatened with a law suit seeking several million dollars in damages, in Arizona, by lawyers for Pilatus Bank. And knowing them, they simply backed down and deleted all the articles.

  6. No, you’re not going mad. Pilatus Bank threatened to sue Allied Newspapers for tens of millions of dollars in an Arizona court. And I don’t know what happened after that, but it looks like they struck a deal to delete all the articles on the Times of Malta and The Sunday Times.

    So I imagine the same thing happened with Malta Today.

  7. Why did you conclude that the letter was released rather than leaked?

  8. Angela Galea says:

    Just send him a ‘nice’ reply and request that he removes your email from his address book. That’s what I did.

  9. EarthwormDave says:

    It is good that this should come out this week, before the election. The only hope for the country not sliding into a full dictatorship is if Chris Said is elected.

    Fans of Delia may not like Said, but at least many will rally behind him and, perhaps reluctantly, give the PN their full support. The converse will not happen if Delia is elected.

    The Nationalist Party will be split in two and Muscat & Co’s abuses will be worse than Mintoff’s.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      You’re losing me. The dubious report is not the attachment to that article (that is the original one by the FIAU under Galdes) but this one: http://inewsmalta.com/article.php?ID1=53014 that everyone with half a brain ignored because regulators such as the FIAU do not suddenly change their mind in that fashion. Worse when it happens after a high-profile departure of a head and his replacement with a crony.

      • Godfrey Leone Ganado says:

        Reporting that the shortcomings no longer exist means practically nothing for the past. What the FIAU is saying is that the compliance procedures and internal control procedures have been updated to prevent a possible repetition in the future.

        Any suspicious transactions that happened before will remain suspicious irrespective of what the FIAU states.

        You can only rectify a suspicious transaction for which the Inspectors would have seen high value circumstantial evidence by replacing it with backdated documentation.

        When, as auditors, we report shortcomings, we would have discussed the shortcomings with management and only insist on reporting when we are convinced in what we are reporting on.

        In this particular case, despite having the time to prove ‘innocence’, the bank failed to do so.
        Why? I ask.
        The only plausible reason is that the bank would have needed ample time to replace documents while making sure that all previous audit trails had been ring fenced or lost.

        There are surely a lot of explanations that are needed to exculpate oneself in this issue and the more the players try, the more they will shoot themselves in their feet.

      • La Redoute says:

        Crossed lines. The cached version of the Times article shows that that article was still online up to 9th September. timesofmalta.com has since redirected that URL to the recent article saying that the FIAU has concluded that Pilatus Bank’s shortcomings have been rectified.

        Why now? Indeed, why at all?

      • BugM says:

        It’s wider than that. For example, references to Keith Schembri taking a “personal interest” in the licensing of the bank (one of the most interesting and telling parts of the whole saga) such as here:

        http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https://www.timesofmalta.com/mobile/articles/view/20170507/local/suspicion-of-money-laundering.647224

        are now gone.

  10. EarthwormDave says:

    I’m now keeping screenshots of interesting threads such as this, anticipating a possible time in the future when Running Commentary will itself have been taken down.

Leave a Comment