As The Shift News continued to reveal details of the shady deal behind Vitals Global Healthcare over the past weeks, readers have sent in a photo taken last year showing one of the stakeholders in Vitals, Pakistani Shaukat Ali Abdul Ghafoor (Chaudry) at the square in Tigne Point where he lives sitting with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s head of security John Portelli.
Shaukat Ali Abdul Ghafoor (Chaudhry) was previously based in Libya where he developed his commercial and political connections with Malta – he has since acquired Maltese citizenship and is registered in Tigné, Sliema. He was involved in a company that had tried to broker the sale of St James Hospital to two American-Pakistani entrepreneurs. When that failed, he then emerged as one of the beneficial owners in the Vitals deal through complex company structures.
Investigations by The Shift News on documents submitted by a panicked investor when he heard about the sale to Steward Global Healthcare revealed the hidden investors in VGH and the beneficial owners. Financial and legal experts who spoke to The Shift News said it was “probable” that commissions for enablers were hidden behind the frontmen.
The Shift News also reported on the international expansion plans of VGH – a company with no track record in the provision of healthcare services that gave a platform to people with a questionable track record.
Vitals had signed a similar secret agreement with the government of Montenegro as it did in Malta but a change in government there meant the deal was torn up in January 2017. In Malta, those at the centre of a controversial deal get to cash out on a deal they never delivered with the possibility of profiting from it for years to come.