Police closer to issuing charges over money laundering at Pilatus Bank – Report

Pilatus

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Prosecution over money-laundering at the now defunct Pilatus Bank could soon follow, the Sunday Times of Malta reported on Sunday.

The weekly newspaper reported that the plan to arraign several bank officials by the end of August was delayed by several months due to delays in the lengthy investigations.

The European Central Bank withdrew Pilatus Bank’s licence in 2018 following the arrest of the bank’s former chairman Ali Sadr Hasheminejad in the United States and approximately two years after it was first implicated in alleged money-laundering breaches.

The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit had raised concerns about Pilatus Bank’s anti-money laundering control during an on-site compliance visit in 2016. The bank had several high-risk politically exposed persons in its client list.

At the time, the bank provided documentation found to be missing during the visit.

Sadr Hasheminejad was arrested in March 2018 at Dulles Airport, and charged with money laundering and breaching US sanctions against Iran by funneling more than US$115 million paid under a Venezuelan construction contract through the US financial system.

Sadr Hasheminejad who was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, bank fraud and money laundering, was acquitted due to evidence disclosure failures.

In July, a US court granted a motion for a new trial for Sadr Hasheminejad as it reversed the earlier guilty convinction.

When the case was dropped in the United State, the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation had called on the government to have Sadr Hasheminejad extradited to Malta. A call which was also taken up by Partit Nazzjonalista.