MEP David Casa has called on the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering monitoring body, Moneyval, to investigate the FIAU’s handling of information on Dubai company 17 Black.
In a letter to the Council of Europe body’s executive secretary, Matthias Kloth, Mr Casa urges Moneyval to take a number of issues into consideration prior to an inspection that will be carried out in Malta in November.
The MEP urges the team coming to Malta to consider the questioning of the authenticity of the report drawn up by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) which Mr Casa published in July.
Mr Casa goes on to ask Moneyval to investigate the circumstances under which the FIAU leaked information concerning its intention to take action against him the press, urging them to find out whether this was done “at the behest of the politicians it was investigating”.
Moneyval should also determine what action was taken by the FIAU after it was informed of the identity of the ultimate beneficial owner of 17 Black. According to another MEP, Socialist Ana Gomes, the Maltese authorities had been handed all the necessary information about the mystery Dubai-based company.
17 Black was named in leaked e-mails as one of two companies that would wire millions into chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi’s once-secret Panama companies.
Both Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi have refused to say who owns 17 Black.
Mr Casa goes on to ask Moneyval to determine whether a wider investigation into the UBO of 17 Black was launched and whether this was progressing “without political interference”.
In the letter, the MEP also asks Moneyval to note the lack of action against Nexia BT in contravention of the FIAU’s obligations under anti-money laundering laws and the fact that “clear evidence of money laundering has not result in enforcement and the prosecution of the concerned suspected criminals”.
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