By regular correspondent Godfrey Leone Ganado:
The parliamentary question as to whether Keith Schembri has a bank account in Dubai and at Pilatus Bank will remain unanswered, thanks to Anġlu Farrugia who owes much to the government may have been inclined to protect his masters from the opposition’s scrutiny.
I too, like Simon Busuttil, have a puzzle to solve regarding Keith Schembri’s finances. I’m particulalry curious about his Kasco Holdings Limited which, according to Joseph Muscat, justifies Keith Schembri’s self-made wealth.
In the audited financial statements for 2016, an amount of Euro 2.6 million is disclosed as a loan given by the company to a third party. Putting it simply, Keith Schembri’s company gave a loan to someone outside the company.
In the notes to the financial statements explaining this loan, it is stated that the loan was paid back to the company in 2017, that is, a few months after it was made.
It is pertinent to highlight that the company does not have a large amount of disposable cash, at least declared, and it actually owes the bank around Euro 5 million which is the same amount it owed in 2015. This means that the company did not borrow any extra funds from the bank to be able to give a loan, although this would not have been allowed by the bank, had it been the case.
I would therefore like to ask Keith Schembri:
- Who is the third party to whom this very short term loan was made?
- What was the purpose for such a very short term loan?
- Where did the company source the funds from, to enable it to give the loan?
I hope that Keith Schembri does not hide under the excuse that he is no longer a director of the company, as he still is a Politically Exposed Person and the general public has the right to know.
Incidentally, the accounts were audited by Nexia BT which should be debarred by professional independence rules from auditing any company owned partially or fully by Keith Schembri. Keith Schembri himself had declared that he had given a loan of Euro100,000 to Brian Tonna, the managing partner of Nexia BT, when he was going through a difficult financial situation as he was going through separation proceedings.
Leave aside for a moment the fact that Keith Schembri declared he had lent money to his auditor when allegations surfaced that the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) found Brian Tonna had paid him Euro 100,000 in commissions on the sale of passports under the IIP Scheme.
That loan was explained, poorly. Can this one be explained as well please?