“If you want to know the truth, follow the money,” says Efimova

FILE PHOTO: The office of Pilatus Bank is seen at Whitehall Mansions in Ta' Xbiex, Malta, October 28, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi/File Photo

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The whistleblower Maria Efimova who blew the cover off the Egrant account and its links to Pilatus Bank said that the bank used to keep two levels of accounts. “If you want to know the truth, follow the money,” said Efimova cryptically.

Speaking to presenter David Thake in a live-streamed Skype call Efimova said that Pilatus Bank held two parallel sets of transactions. The official one was on Flexcube, a core banking software. This said Efimova, was the system which would be put up if the bank was going to be inspected by FIAU. But, said the Russian Whistleblower, there was also a parallel system.

Efimova said that the system was on a different server and most of her colleagues did not realize it was a different system, housed on a different server. Efimova insisted that she passed this information to the inquiring magistrate as well as to the FIAU lead Ian Abdilla and another police inspector. Efimova expressed extreme distrust of the operations of the police in Malta.

Efimova referred to another colleague who had told her that there were loans which were off the books and that, said the whistleblower, supported what she was saying about a parallel banking system. She added that although she had documents to prove what she was saying, she refrained from giving them to the inquiring magistrate because he had warned her that presenting such evidence could incriminate her for unlawful possession of the document.

The Egrant inquiry called for police action against Maria Efimova the Russian whistleblower who passed on information to Daphne Caruana Galizia. In the inquiry’s conclusion, Mr Justice Aaron Bugeja said that while Ms Efimova gave some statements deemed to be true, many others were found to be false.  The inquiry ordered the police commissioner to start criminal proceedings against Ms Efimova. 

Reacting to the magisterial comments that Efimova’s declarations were not credible, Efimova stood by what she had said, adding “If I only had the trust declarations I wouldn’t say anything but I saw the transactions”.