Montenegro: Anti-corruption journalist survives car bomb

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2018-04-06T17:15:32+02:00Fri, 6th Apr '18, 17:15|

Police in Montenegro are quoted by the local press saying they believe that a car bomb that exploded in front of the home of Montenegrin journalist Sead Sadiković on April 1 was a targeted threat. Sead Sadiković is known for a critical weekly TV show reporting on corruption and organized crime in Montenegro. He escaped the explosion [...]

Irish Times: The Double Life of Ali Sadr

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2018-04-06T15:34:35+02:00Fri, 6th Apr '18, 15:34|

From the Irish Times: "According to the US indictment, it seems as though Ali Sadr was living a double life. At the same time as he was allegedly orchestrating the financial links between Iran and Venezuela, he also set about establishing a bank in Malta." If you haven't found a copy of the Financial Times [...]

Read about Slovakia and think about Malta

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2018-04-06T07:28:56+02:00Fri, 6th Apr '18, 07:28|

The temptation is not to write about it again because it's been said before. The greater temptation is not to read about it again. Rewind to pre-2013. Reading about Malta in the world news was rare but mostly fun. We rarely looked forward to the football reports on the international news because Malta was worth [...]

The professional secrecy cop-out

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2018-04-06T06:44:24+02:00Thu, 5th Apr '18, 18:55|

KPMG’s attempt at auto-absolution just does not work. It’s your bog standard ‘We did what we were supposed to do but we can’t be specific in answer to any question because we owe our customer the protection of their secrets’. KPMG may or may not see what’s happening here. They may or may not have [...]

Everybody’s reading The Financial Times

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2018-04-05T10:14:47+02:00Thu, 5th Apr '18, 10:14|

Or everybody should be. They give an in-depth account this morning of what Ali Sadr appears to have been up to before and while being an owner and a Chairman of a Maltese bank. It now turns out one other director of Pilatus Bank, Mustafa Cetinel, was also investigated by the US probe that led [...]

Iranian man on death row, who switched IRISL’s agency to John Dalli’s daughter, helped set up Pilatus Bank

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2018-04-05T10:41:20+02:00Thu, 5th Apr '18, 07:34|

Mehdi Shamszadeh, currently waiting in a Tehran prison for a hearing of his appeal from a death sentence for defrauding the Iranian government, was in 2004 commercial director of Iran’s shipping line IRISL when it decided to fire its Malta shipping agent SMS and switch to an agency set up by John Dalli’s daughter, Claire [...]

HSBC: Mid-Med Bank again?

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2018-04-04T16:51:34+02:00Wed, 4th Apr '18, 16:51|

The sullen tone of HSBC Malta's CEO in his speech of last January may have been better informed than any of us were. Head office might be reversing the bank's 20 year growth drive and Malta might very well be for the chop. This Bloomberg report specifically mentions Malta as a candidate for HSBC's global [...]

Some comic relief

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2018-04-04T16:37:38+02:00Wed, 4th Apr '18, 16:25|

#Occupyjustice are getting more than their fair share of Labour trolls on their Facebook posts, particularly the ones promoting the vigil of the 16th April. But they give back as much as they get. Have a good one Jack. Two if you can make it.

Kurt’s pyrrhic victories

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2018-04-04T10:47:37+02:00Wed, 4th Apr '18, 10:16|

Kurt Farrugia does not get much cause to celebrate these days. The response of the Ambassadors’ Club at the Council of Europe to questions from a Dutch MP sitting in the Parliamentary Assembly gave him some sort of platform. It’s not that hard to understand how this works. An Opposition MP in the Maltese Parliament [...]

The Wizard of Oz

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2018-04-03T14:07:21+02:00Tue, 3rd Apr '18, 14:07|

Using his Australia trip to announce his intention to allow Maltese living abroad to vote in national elections is not a coincidence. With Joseph Muscat nothing is. His remark, on an ethnic radio show in Maltese for Maltese-Australian listeners, was addressed to a very specific audience: Maltese-Australians. The context of his remark was a follow-up [...]

The national inquisitors

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2018-04-03T20:14:56+02:00Tue, 3rd Apr '18, 13:25|

The petition to have the Archbishop of Malta removed if he does not resign of his own accord has been bumped off Change.org. Facebook and other social media outlets have enough problems as it is with people using it as a vehicle for Fake News. The blatant lie that the Archbishop said the provenance of [...]

All holders of passports from citizenship-selling jurisdictions will be considered high risk – report

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2018-04-03T07:37:15+02:00Tue, 3rd Apr '18, 07:37|

EU, US and Canada planning security clampdown on passport holders from countries that sell citizenship. Security concerns about acquirers of passports from third party small island states are reported to have caused major jurisdictions to review their immigration protocols and revise the face value status of holders of passports from these countries as ‘high risk’. [...]

What the MFSA does not explain

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2018-04-02T12:48:47+02:00Mon, 2nd Apr '18, 12:48|

It’s all well and good for the MFSA to assure us that its regulatory function was fully exercised while Pilatus Bank was in business. (See their statement below). They tell us they engaged an overseas “intelligence” firm before licensing Pilatus and they kept the bank on a diet of inspections and verification while it exercised [...]

GUEST POST: Pavlov Mark 2

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2018-04-02T11:52:32+02:00Mon, 2nd Apr '18, 11:52|

The following guest post from someone known to me reacts to this earlier post of mine in which I wrote that Joseph Muscat "treats the population like Pavlov treated his dogs and no wonder. So many oblige."  ‘Joseph Muscat treats the population like Pavlov treated his dogs.’ Having a background in psychology I couldn’t help but smile [...]

G Farrugia Calleja: Plough on, indecently.

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2018-04-01T09:12:43+02:00Sun, 1st Apr '18, 08:49|

By George Farrugia Calleja who here makes an analogy with the third Godfather movie. The comparisons of Joseph Muscat's behaviour this Good Friday with the mafia are irresistible and so correct. I saw someone write 'Puttinu o Plomo'. Quite. Let’s be charitable and surmise that Premier Muscat was suffering from severe jet-lag when he phoned [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Who is the boss?

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2018-04-01T08:04:33+02:00Sun, 1st Apr '18, 08:04|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "It is very hard for people to admit they have been fooled. Even if it is ever proven beyond any doubt that the sort of manipulative techniques used by Cambridge Analytica elsewhere were also applied here, few are going to admit, even to themselves, that without these [...]