The Malta Independent 20 November 2018, Tuesday

Nexia BT insists Egrant company opened in Panama is theirs

Monday, 20 February 2017, 19:14 Last update: about 3 years ago

Nexia BT is insisting that the Egrant company, the third to be opened in Panama together with those of Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, is theirs.

In a statement, Nexia BT said that Egrant Inc., which was purchased by Nexia BT in July 2013, is a shelf company, that is to say a ready-made company that is available for a client to acquire. It has never had, and does not currently have, any client as ultimate beneficial owner, and it has never been active. 

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Nexia said that this was already communicated to the media on three occasions, our reply to Malta Today which was reproduced in the article written by Matthew Vella appearing on the 11 April 2016, entitled ‘Panama Papers | Nexia says third offshore company Egrant is still shelf company’; an email sent by Rachel Attard from the Malta Independent on the 4 May 2016 to which we clearly replied that ‘Egrant Inc. is a company that was incorporated for our firm as a shelf company, and the shares are still beneficially ours. No other person is interested, either legally or beneficially, in Egrant Inc.’; and another similar statement to questions put forward by the editor of the Malta Today, Saviour Balzan, as reproduced in the article of 19 February 2017 entitled ‘Nexia boss: ‘I own Egrant’. We have also produced a document signed by the director of Egrant Inc. which clearly confirms that the ownership of Egrant Inc is as we are stating above.

A number of references have been made to an email sent by Karl Cini to Mossack Fonseca on the 25 March, 2013, the suggestion being that the email confirms that he was going to disclose the UBO of Egrant Inc. to them over Skype. This is wrong. The email in question was sent in connection with an enquiry by a client, which enquiry fell through. It was unrelated to Egrant Inc. In fact, the email makes no mention of Egrant Inc. Besides, we had no client as UBO for Egrant, Inc. and so there was no information about a UBO to be disclosed, whether via Skype or indeed by any other means of communication.

Nexia said it has always disclosed openly the facts surrounding the ownership of Egrant Inc. and, contrary to certain allegations being made in the press, we have never claimed professional secrecy in connection with Egrant Inc. "Our replies to this same question have been, and remain, consistent and factual," it said.

 

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