The Malta Independent 24 September 2018, Monday

PN slams government’s silence over Venezuelan president’s alleged money laundering through Malta

Tuesday, 14 August 2018, 18:27 Last update: about 2 months ago

The PN are concerned that government and the FIAU have remained quiet in the wake of a news article published by this newsroom that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has been implicated in an American investigation for having laundered some €160 million through an unnamed Maltese private investment firm.

The Homeland Security Investigations criminal complaint alleges that Maduro's stepsons helped launder US$1.2 billion in funds pilfered from Venezuela's state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PDVSA, that were wired to an unnamed Maltese bank between late 2014 and early 2015.

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The PN, in its statement, said that this is serious news that needs to be taken seriously, as it damages Malta's financial services, as well as the country's, reputation.

The PN condemned the bad state of democracy in Venezuela, a country led by a dictator, and the farcical elections they held. "This all has to be taken in the context of the arrest of former Pilatus Bank Chairman Ali Sadr, who was allegedly involved in a money laundering scheme in Venezuela before the bank opened in Malta.

The PN said that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat must carry responsibility for the threat to Malta's financial sector reputation following the European Banking Authority's report regarding the FIAU and Pilatus Bank, given that he is now directly responsible for the financial services sector.

Government statement

In reply, the government said the Opposition is being irresponsible when it expects the government to interfere in regulatory issues when it comes to financial services.

It would be appropriate for the Opposition to stop playing political games with people’s livelihood in the industry and act in the national interest.

The government trusts the Malta Financial Services Authority to act according to due process.


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