The Malta Independent 24 October 2020, Saturday

MFSA slaps enforcement directives on two Nexia BT-owned companies

Thursday, 24 September 2020, 19:45 Last update: about 29 days ago

The Malta Financial Serviecs Authority has slapped enforcement directives on two companies owned by Brian Tonna’s Nexia BT, The Malta Independent is informed.

The enforcement action was issued against BT Management Limited and BT International Limited, with the MFSA saying that the companies are “not in a position to continue servicing clients whilst adhering to the applicable legal requirements.”

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The decision was taken on 23 September.

It follows a court order earlier in the week which saw the assets of Brian Tonna, his partners, their families, and associated companies frozen over suspicions of money laundering.

The directive by the MFSA bars the company from taking on new clients and from providing existing clients with any new or additional services “until the MFSA has obtained the necessary information and assurances on the impact that the recent developments may have”.

It also directs the company to issue a notification to clients on the recent developments and their impact on their services and to seek confirmation whether they wish to retain the services provided by BTI Management and BT International Limited.

BT International Limited has already had its licence to sell passports suspended by the Individual Investor Programme’s regulator.

The action comes after the long-time chief of staff of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, was arrested after the asset-freezing order issued on Monday evening.

His arrest was over allegations that he took €100,000 in kickbacks on the sale of Maltese passports to a Russian family, with a magisterial inquiry into these allegations being concluded some days prior.

Tonna and another Nexia BT partner Karl Cini were also arrested in connection with the case.

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