Malta Independent columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia has claimed to not only have documents backing up her claims, but also a whistleblower.
On Thursday, Caruana Galizia said on her blog, that the owner of the Egrant Inc. was Michelle Muscat, the Prime Minister’s wife and that large sums of money had been transferred from an account at Pilatus Bank to Egrant Inc.
The company is one of three companies revealed in the Panama Papers, to have been set up by Nexia BT and whose ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) remains unknown.
In comments to The Sunday Times of Malta, Caruana Galizia said she would not be cooperating with the magisterial inquiry because of journalistic concerns, since the documents she has in hand were given to her by a source. and that she could not risk her source suspecting she was collaborating with the police.
Caruana Galizia also stressed that, contrary to a criminal court, public opinion was not based on proof without reasonable doubt, adding that those demanding proof of her allegations, were “beyond pathetic”.
According to a second report in the Sunday Times of Malta, Pilatus bank was the subject of a two-week on-site investigation by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) at the start of 2016.
The report said that the investigation was a result of concerns raised by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) over “serious failures in the prevention of money laundering”, and found serious shortcomings in the way the bank dealt with politically exposed persons from high-risk jurisdictions and “business being done with local PEPs”.