Another article in the series by Godfrey Leone Ganado. We have been fed diversionary responses, non sequiturs, tu quoque responses, question-dodging retorts, red herrings, straw men and all manner of fallacies known to men and some they can claim credit for discovering. But the facts remain the facts. This is not going to go away.
This article is a follow up to an earlier post from November. I will now comment further on the observations regarding the alleged ownership of Egrant by Michelle Muscat nee Tanti.
Comment 1 – Brian Tonna, after one year of synchronised silence with Joseph Muscat, published documents on which I have commented on various occasions. It is important to highlight that, these documents are generated internally by the nominee directors/shareholders of Egrant and are not public documents registered at the Panama company registry. This is one of the ‘benefits’ of setting up a secret company in Panama, as one may initiate and change documents at will to suit whatever circumstances one desires.
The main arguments of Brian Tonna are that he is the sole beneficial owner of the only one share in Egrant since 9 July 2013 and that this share was held in his name by ATC ADMINISTRATORS INC, a nominee company also registered in Panama.
I am attaching a document relating to Egrant Inc. from the Panama company registry, titled ‘Former executives and administrators’.
This document lists the start date and end date of, among others, the names of two nominee companies, Dubro Limited S.A. and Aliator S.A. who are the subscribers to one share each in Egrant since its setting up on 8 July 2013.
The document shows clearly that the end date of Dubro and Aliator is 6 April 2017, which is the date of liquidation of the company.
It is pertinent to highlight that the two declarations of trust published on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Running Commentary on 21 April 2017, which were given to her by the Pilatus Bank whistle-blower, state clearly that these declarations dated 20 August 2015, are held by Dubro and Aliator as nominees and trustees for Ms Michelle Muscat nee Tanti in respect of one share each in EGRANT INC. with a reference number of 807956S.
The reference number is the registration number of Egrant in the Panama Registry and in the notarised memorandum and articles of association of the company.
Observation 1 – The name ATC Administrators Inc does not feature on any published official document and the only names that keep appearing, are those of Dubro Limited S.A and Aliator S.A. as subscribers, and Mossack Fonseca.
Brian Tonna was the sole shareholder, through BT International, of Mossack Fonseca & Co. (Malta) Ltd which was registered on 23 May 2013 (a few weeks before Egrant was set up) at his office address in San Ġwann.
ATC Administrators is another secret Panama company whose ultimate beneficial owner is Faith Foundation set up in Panama. This secret Foundation owns a number of other secret Panama companies including Dubro and Aliator.
The Panama Papers however, disclose that ATC Administrators were listed as shareholder in Egrant Inc, Hearnville Inc and Tillgate Inc. within the following dates:
- Egrant – from 9 July 2013 to ‘no date listed’.
- Hearnville – from 10 July 2013 to 21 July 2015 when the share was registered on Orion Trust as trustee of Rotorua Trust owned by Konrad Mizzi.
- Tillgate – from 16 July 2013 to 21 July 2015 when the share was registered on Orion Trust as trustee of Haas Trust owned by Keith Schembri.
Brian Tonna published two documents, one called Assignment of Subscription of TWO shares, one by Dubro and the other one by Aliator, dated 8 July 2013 issued to THE BEARER, and the other a Share Certificate dated 9 July 2013, certifying that ATC Administrators Inc is the owner of ONE share in Egrant Inc. This was signed by the President and the Secretary of the company.
It is pertinent to highlight that the declarations of trust mentioned by the whistle-blower were dated 20 August 2015, that is 30 days following the date of transfer of the shares from ATC Administrators to the Trusts set up by Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri to own Hearnville and Tillgate.
This could indicate that, the intent was not to set up a Trust to hold the shares of Egrant, but to transfer the shares directly to the ultimate beneficial owner, who is alleged by the whistle-blower to be Michelle Muscat nee Tanti.
I therefore question: why did Brian Tonna need ATC Administrators, when he had Mossack Fonseca as the resident agent in Panama from the start of the company up to its liquidation? Also, why would he have appointed ATC Administrators as nominees on 9 July 2013, which company does not feature in any registry document, when Dubro and Aliator were already acting as nominees on the setting up of the company on 8 July 2013, the previous day?
It is also questionable why an Assignment of Subscription was issued to bearer on 8 July 2013 to then immediately effect a transfer to ATC Administrators on the following day, 9 July 2013.
Observation 2 – In the interview with The Malta Independent, published on Sunday 30 April 2017, Maria Efimova the Russian bank employee turned whistle-blower, says that she did not know what she was looking for when she was asked by her manager to get some files of Politically Exposed Persons from the kitchen safe, which she says had been removed from the office of the Chief Executive Officer because there was no CCTV there.
She says that this happened during the compliance visit to the Bank of the FIAU investigators in March 2016. “She told me, we show them these files but we don’t show them those files. She gave me some PEP (Politically Exposed Persons) files and asked me to remove details of transactions. When I objected, I was told to remember that I hadn’t been paid yet (for my wages).
“Once I had opened the safe and got the files that were needed, I decided to look quickly through some of the other documents, because now I was really suspicious and also very worried, in view that, on employment, management had asked me to sign a blank sheet of paper and I don’t know what I was looking for, maybe familiar names.
“Then I saw two declarations of trust with the name ‘Muscat’. I hadn’t been in the country long enough to know that it is a quite common name here. I recognised it because it is the Prime Minister’s name. The company name was Egrant Inc and I knew the name because it was on my list. This was still before the Panama Papers, which broke into the news in April 2016, so I had no idea of the significance of it.
“I quickly scanned those documents and returned them to the safe. I don’t know why I did it, what was at the back of my mind, except that I knew I wanted to have something in hand in case they tried to frame me as responsible for their irregular PEP files.”
In this respect I therefore question: how could Efimova have linked Joseph Muscat with the surname Muscat nee Tanti on the declarations of Trust, when the surname she recognised was Muscat, who she linked to the Prime Minister because he was a Politically Exposed Person?
Furthermore, it is pertinent to highlight that the Declarations of Trust refer to Michelle Muscat nee Tanti as Ms and not Mrs. In fact this is the name on the contact card of Michelle, as European Representative of the Buttardi fashion costume jewellery business which she has with Michelle Buttigieg who operates from New York and who is also the Malta Tourism Authority representative in New York.
In view that, in questioning the credibility of Efimova, it has been hinted by Joseph Muscat that the Declarations of Trust were faked by Efimova, I ask: how did Efimova know that Dubro Limited S.A. and Aliator S.A. were the nominee shareholders of Egrant Inc, when the Panama Papers had not yet been published?
I also question: how did Efimova know that the Egrant Inc company registration number in the Panama Company Registry was 807956S, when the Panama Papers had not yet been published?
Furthermore: how could Efimova have faked the Declarations of Trust, when she started working with Pilatus Bank on 18 January 2016, while the declarations are dated 20 August 2015 and signed on that date by Dubro and Aliator?