MEP David Casa has called on the Dubai-based Noor Bank to release identifying information on 17 Black’s owner.
A recently discovered set of emails in the Panama Papers had shown that the offshore firms of tourism minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri were planning to have two Dubai firms, called 17 Black and Macbridge, become “main target clients” — meaning they planned to do business with them.
Casa called on Noor Bank to publish any identifying information concerning the ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) of 17 Black and the transfers carried out through 17 Black, cease any business relationship that could be ongoing and ensure an investigation and criminal proceedings are launched in the UAE.
In a recent article in the EU Observer, Casa referred to a Daphne Project revelation that showed that Schembri and Mizzi were planning to receive $150,000 per month into their once-secret Panamanian companies from this company.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Casa said “the Maltese people have a right to know the origin and purpose of these transactions”.
He added that “the Dubai registered company 17 Black Limited was, and could possibly still be a client of Noor Bank. Accounts held by Noor Bank were used to receive funds suspected of being linked to criminal activity in Malta”.
Casa forwarded proof of transfers and leaked reports from Malta’s anti-money laundering agency, the FIAU.
“In April this year, world-renowned journalists published email correspondence with the notorious Mossack Fonseca indicating that 17 Black would funnel €150,000 monthly to Konrad Mizzi and another €150,000 to Keith Schembri. Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri are politically exposed persons at highest levels of the Maltese government. The only plausible explanation for these funds is criminal activity related to kickbacks from corruption,” he said.