60 Minutes: Inside the corruption allegations plaguing Malta The smallest nation in the European Union is earning an unsavory reputation, with a series of scandals involving allegations of bribery, cronyism and money laundering June 23, 2019 BY Jon Wertheim ” The smallest nation in the European Union is home to one of its fastest growing economies. Name a voguish growth-sector, internet gambling, cryptocurrency, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and Malta is trying to establish itself as a hub. The 45-year-old Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, is the high priest of this new gospel.

Mark Anthony Falzon: The story is that St. Paul converted the Maltese to Christianity. So that would mean that Malta was one of the first places to be converted to Christianity even before Rome. So we would be the original and the best Christians. A small band of crusaders, later known as the Knights of Malta, fended off the mighty Ottomans in the 16th century. Under British rule, the Maltese survived more than 3,000 German and Italian bombing raids in World War II. Malta gained its independence in 1964

The “Golden Visa” program has drawn wealthy Russians to the small Mediterranean island, operated by Henley & Partners which also services St. Kitts & Nevis.

 The Dubai-ification of Malta OCCRP Three Russians who obtained Maltese passports in 2016 – Arkady Volozh, Boris Mints, and Alexander Nesis – are on the so-called Kremlin List, published by the United States on Jan. 29, 2018. It is not a sanctions list, but identifies Russia’s richest businessmen, with assets estimated at more than $1 billion each, who are believed to be close to President Vladimir Putin. Volozh developed Yandex, a major search engine sometimes known as “Russia’s Google,” and remains its main shareholder. Mints, one of the other new Cypriot citizens on the Kremlin list, owns an investment holding company, O1 Group Ltd., on the island, and had a net worth in 2017 of $1.3 billion, according to Forbes. The billionaire has business ties to Nesis, the president of the private equity ICT Group, which he founded in 1991. Nesis’ fortune is valued at around $1.9 billion, according to Forbes. He is a minority shareholder in the Mints company O1 Properties, and is co-owner of Otkritie Bank, now Russia’s largest private banking group by assets.

Since 2010, Mints has been chairman of the Russian Union of Industrialists​ ​and​ ​Entrepreneurs. In the mid ‘90s, he served for two years as Head of the Main Directorate of the State Property Committee, a crucial political position in post-Soviet Russia. He also served in 2000-2001 as chairman of the oppositional Political Party of the Union of Rightist Forces.

One of Sliema’s new Russian residents is Dmitry Golomovzy, a shipping magnate who has been a Maltese citizen since 2015, as reported by Galizia. Galizia reported that Golomovzy is also a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, a Caribbean country where – just like in Malta – the Golden Visa program is run by Henley & Partners, one of two major international companies involved in the business.

Saudi Arabians have also invested in Maltese citizenship. The best-known is Waleed al-Ibrahim, chairman and once chief owner of the Middle East Broadcasting Center(MBC), founded in London in 1991 and now the largest media company in the Middle East and North Africa. Al-Ibrahim obtained his Maltese citizenship in 2016. In November 2017, he was swept up in a Saudi anti-corruption raid ordered by Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and detained at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. According to the Washington Post, Al-Ibrahim remains the MBC’s director, but it is now majority-owned by the government.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Trump probe likely to reach Malta Malta Independent Helena Grech September 3, 2017 “The corporate structure of the Silk Road Group, which is a holding company that controls dozens of corporate entities registered around the world, involves several holdings in Malta.

The complex layers of shell companies registered in various countries made its way to Malta. The New Yorker cites an eight-million-US-dollar loan granted to Batumi Riviera Holding, BV, which is registered in Holland. Batumi Riviera Holding is then owned by Tbilisi Central Plaza, a company registered in Malta, which is owned by Susalike Holding GmbH, which is registered in Germany, to a Silk Road Group subsidiary.

In addition to this, research carried out by this newspaper reveals that multiple other companies linked with the Silk Road Group are registered in Malta. The Silk Road Group as well as a holding company is registered in Malta, with its shareholders being another Malta registered company called Prometheus Holdings and another fiduciary company called Artio Corporate Services.

The Silk Road Group Holding company is registered as the shareholder of Prometheus, with the former’s shareholding made up of other fiduciary companies and a company called SRS Georgia Fund LLC.

The company’s complicated structure leads many experts to raise red flags on the lawfulness of its dealings. Those concerned with Russian meddling in the US elections argue that should the Russian government have access to sensitive information such as in this case, were an apparent lack of due diligence on source of funds took place on behalf of the Trump organisation, as this could be used to blackmail the leader.

The lawyer of the Trump administration, Jay Sekulow, has been quoted as saying that the US Justice Department investigation must be as specific as possible, and that it would lodge formal complaints should it delve into Trump’s business dealings in Georgia. He contends that Georgia is not Russia; however, opponents stress that Russian influence does not stop at Russian borders.

Malta may yet again have its corporate service provision system come under fire through its links with the Silk Road Group. The Georgian company may well have chosen Malta, among many other jurisdictions, due to country laws allowing nominee shareholding as well as very favourable corporate tax rates.”Malta Independent

Trump’s Business of Corruption  The New Yorker By Adam Davidson. August 14, 2017

Piercing the Veil of Secrecy Shrouding the Trump Deal in the Republic of Georgia New Yorker By August 17, 2017

Former Trump partner Damac Properties eyes Malta for hotel investment Hotel Management Victoria Rosenthal July 24, 2017 “Hussain Sajwani, Damac Properties’ international chairman, is considering Malta as the developer group’s next possible destination for hotel investment. Following a tour of the island-nation and a private meeting with Maltese PM Dr. Joseph Muscat, Sajwani said that Malta is a favorable investment destination. Damac partnered with the Trump Organization to develop the first and only Trump International Golf Club in the Middle East.


Watch: Daphne Caruana Galizia killed in Bidnija car blast Explosion reported at around 3pm Times of Malta  Bertrand Borg October 16, 2017 “Duty magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera was also spotted at the site. Her role as head of the magisterial inquiry into the murder is being challenged by the Caruana Galizia family, who have highlighted the bad blood between the magistrate and the deceased Ms Caruana Galizia.”

Politico 18 Class of 2017 #26 “The best way to think of Daphne Caruana Galizia is as a one-woman WikiLeaks, crusading against untransparency and corruption in Malta, an island nation famous for both.”

“Investment for citizenship schemes was at the core of where she was going – she specifically pointed at Henley & Partners Christian Klein who was trying to sue her and intimidate her. And she pointed at St Kitts & Nevis as an example in addition to Malta + the rampant corruption” @realbristolnews

“St Kitts & Nevis is go-to location for these criminals – and origins of ‘military-style’ micro-targetting software (Cambridge Analytica) is in the Caribbean. They used it to secure monopolies of citizenship for investment schemes (and ensure they sucked in moneylaundered cash)” @realbristolnews

“Here’s the Parliamentary enquiry confirming the Caribbean connection”  @realBristolNews

Boris Johnson met ‘London professor’ linked to FBI’s Russia investigation The Guardian Fresh questions as photograph emerges of Joseph Mifsud and foreign secretary at Brexit dinner [October 19, 2017] November 11, 2017″

The third man in the photo, businessman Prasenjit Kumar Singh, told the Observer he had known Mifsud, a Maltese academic named in FBI documents concerning possible Trump-Kremlin connections, for several years, and had attended seminars on Brexit that Mifsud had held at the London School of Diplomacy: “He is a very good speaker and he’s had a lot of seminars about Brexit at the academy.””