The Malta Independent 24 October 2017, Tuesday

Award winning ICIJ journalist releases documents on secret companies in Panama

Sunday, 7 May 2017, 12:40 Last update: about 7 months ago

Journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Matthew Caruana Galizia has published more documents in relation to the secret Panama papers.

The ICIJ journalist, posting on Facebook fact after another, explains how Keith Schembri's friend and Times of Malta ex-managing director, Adrian Hillman, allegedly laundered over €600,000 after the Labour Party was elected. This is evidenced in the documents leaked which were prepared by Brian Tonna and Karl Cini.

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Mr Caruana Galizia also explained how Keith Schembri's business partner, Malcolm Scerri, allegedly laundered over €1.1 million after the 2013 election. The amount is shown on the published documents. He also says the documents show how, after the election, the Prime Minster's Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri laundered over €700,000.

"On 21 August 2015, a Mossack Fonseca employee sent Konrad Mizzi's CV, passport, electricity bill and a letter of reference for opening a bank account to a Panamanian bank called FBP Bank," he writes while explaining the process by which the Panamanian bank account for Konrad Mizzi was opened. Carana Galizia says that the letter was signed by BOV's Chief Officer of Corporate Finance Albert Frendo.

The journalist also links these documents to the selling of the power station to Shanghai Electric.

"When Joseph Muscat decided he wanted to privatise our power station by selling it to Shanghai Electric, the services of Accenture Strategy were contracted. At the time, Konrad Mizzi said, "Accenture has been actively supporting Malta's energy-transformation ambition."

At the heart of the deal was an unknown Cambridge University graduate and Accenture employee called Cheng Chen, on a salary of about €100k per annum. Cheng Chen's support was so active that Konrad Mizzi's accountant, Brian Tonna at Nexia BT, acquired a Panamanian company for him called Torbridge Services Inc."

According to Caruana Galizia, on 17 June 2013, Adrían Dixon, a Panamanian national working at Nexia BT's office emailed Mossack Fonseca in Panama. The email said:

"Following our phone conversation, the client has decided to buy Torbridge Serices Inc and Willerby Trade Inc, BVI companies. For these companies we will need nominee directors and shareholders as well as a power of attorney for each one. Furthermore, the client would like to open a bank account in Panama for one of these companies. Just a bank account to test how it works, and in the future we'll ask to open more. They want it basically to check the account online and in English.

Anything else just let me know. Thanks for your help Cristina!"

"Throughout this whole process, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat prevented the police from investigating", the award winning journalist concludes.

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