The worst has happened

Eight years of government-sanctioned and protected rampant corruption, criminality, money-laundering, dealings with international crooks, organised crime and international sanctions busters brought Malta to the edge of the abyss. And now, it has thrown us sprawling into the vortex.

Let’s be more specific about who exactly has thrust us into this catastrophe: Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, Edward Scicluna, Lawrence Cutajar, the FIAU, the MFSA, the police force, the former attorney general Peter Grech, the Egrant magistrate who incredibly managed to exonerate the Muscats without proving anything at all, the Yorgen Fenechs and Paul Apap Bolognas who put the island into bed with international pariahs such as the Alijevs, the Musajevs, the Ali Sadrs and so many others. And the companies that fed the money-lust of the government and its officials.

This has not been a question of vague, unknowable elements hitting us from behind: the government and all its officials have been aware this could happen for several years. The unbelievably stupid attempt to hoodwink the experts by “strengthening” laws that only really needed enforcing, yet continuing to allow the above mentioned and their huge network of accomplices to operate with impunity, was never going to work.

Instead of doing what was urgent and necessary, they created reams of additional red tape, cumbersome new procedures to place an impossible burden on the small, honest professionals struggling to cope.

Yet the actual common criminals who hijacked Malta eight years ago are still at large. No action taken against most of them, still enjoying total impunity for their misdeeds. It’s worth remembering that the failure to apprehend, prosecute and incarcerate money launderers and other financial criminals is critical to any assessment of whether Malta is assisting or confounding international efforts to control crime.

But in Malta, years after they were first exposed, despite the volumes of evidence against them, not a single perpetrator has been successfully prosecuted, not even those who are also suspected of having been involved in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

As the reality of what greylisting will mean for our country begins to hit, a country let’s not forget, that has no natural resources and has always had to use the power and quality of its human resources to sustain itself, we must never forget that this could and should have been avoided by those to whom we entrusted the running of the country.

This could have been avoided if the government had acted on Caruana Galizia’s stories, if the authorities had taken action after the revelations in the Panama Papers and other investigations; it could have been avoided if the attorney general had done his job, if the police commissioner had done his job.

It is this long list of crooks, enablers, facilitators and apologists, most of whom haven’t even been arrested or charged, let alone punished, that is directly responsible for the pain and suffering everyone in Malta is going to experience as a result. This is going to affect every industry, every sector and everyone’s quality of life.

Greylisting rings the death knell for Malta’s financial services industries and many others that will fall domino-style to the sword of international approbation.

The damage done to Malta today, as we join Pakistan, Yemen, Nicaragua, Panama and the rest of the ostracised group of greylisted countries, will last for decades. It’s an absolute tragedy.

                           
                               
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saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

Now wait for the bash from the EU.

Toni
Toni
1 month ago

Well said Blanche.

Pity that labourites still do not see it that way!

Probably, most of them do now even know what FATF stands for let alone what grey-listing and, worse still, what its impacts are!

This was a result of 8-years of corruption by Joe Muscat & co….

He should now come out of hiding and at least, have the decency to apologise to the nation. But he is as coward as much as he is corrupt!

Last edited 1 month ago by Toni
Ann Selvaggi
Ann Selvaggi
1 month ago
Reply to  Toni

Totally agree!

John
John
1 month ago

MFSA’s Christopher Buttigieg holds a world record for promotions since Labour got in power in 2013. 5 promotions and a hefty increase in salary. He is the person behind the non-sense blockchain island project which resulted in a complete failure. He destroyed the future of all employees and employers in the financial services sector. Buttigieg squandered millions in taxpayers’ monies for his own glory and that of his friend Joseph Muscat. He should be made to resign. He is not fit and proper to lead Malta’s financial services industry out of this dark hole.

Graham Crompton
Graham Crompton
1 month ago
Reply to  John

And take the dinosaur John “No regrets and no apologies” Mamo out of the door behind him.

John
John
1 month ago

Under the helm of disgraced Joe Cuschieri and his buddy Christopher Buttigieg, MFSA made tens of millions of euro in losses. The taxpayers had to make good for their incompetence. Had they been employed in the private practise, they would have been fired and investigated.

Las Vegas traveller Edwina Licari was another reason why FATF reached such a conclusion. Michelle Mizzi Buontempo, Head of Enforcement MFSA should start an investigation about her colleagues. Or is she in it with them?

Maybe the FIAU deputy director Alfred Zammit, who proudly gave a clean certificate to Pilatus Bank should resign. FIAU boss Kenneth Farrugia, who pays media houses to promote himself and his office after being lambasted by international authorities for their lack of action in serious cases will keep using taxpayers’ monies to justify his hefty salary. Kristina Arbociute of FIAU which as clearly revealed by TheShiftnews can perhaps explain to us why her former employer was never investigated by Maltese authorities.

You will run but the day will come when you will face justice for destroying the future of our children.

Where is Edward Scicluna?

Graham Crompton
Graham Crompton
1 month ago
Reply to  John

Are the MFSA incompetent or complicit,and the same question to the FIAU?. Both useless,along with the police,when they were all advised of fraud,money laundering and tax evasion on a huge scale.in March 2020 and have done nothing since. Why would that be? Even Minister Clyde Caruana was included in all the information,and he is in charge of all the others,but still nothing was done by anyone.The fraud etc is still ongoing
.
Maybe things will change after this grey listing,and they need to, because those people in place now are not the people to lead Malta out of the dark place in to which it has been deposited. They are tainted,and have too many skeletons in the cupboard

James
James
1 month ago

Graham, you and John have hit the nail on the head. Until and unless successful prosecutions are brought against every single identifiable enabler who has allowed these excesses to run riot, the roads to redemption cannot even be considered by the FATF.

Logically as long as the present incumbents remain in position in the various enforcement agencies, there can be no realistic expectations of change. The writing has been on the wall since the Panama Papers and Daphne’s exposures of corruption but nothing was done and no doubt the charade of denial will continual but clearly there were 635 MEPs who didn’t believe recently and neither does the FATF.

How can Robert Abela claim the decision is unjust and truly expect the world to trust someone who is clearly as delusional as his marionettes?

Independent and outside expertise to start clearing the swamp would be a start.

James
James
1 month ago

The chickens have truly come home to roost haven’t they, just as Blanche and anyone with an objective viewpoint knew they would.

And still the denials and lies spill from the perpetrators’ lips???

The reality surely has to sink in that they can no longer bluff snd bluster and until successful prosecutions are brought, the spotlight will not be moved let alone be dimmed for those centre stage.

Antoine Attard
Antoine Attard
1 month ago

And what about the National coordination. Committee (NCC) headed by Dr. Helga Debono Buttigieg wife of Mario Buttigieg. Helga is paid a hefty annual salary and I really doubt whether she is aware of the proper meaning of Money Laundering and what it does it entail. This job was solely created for her dishing out millions of euro in consultancy fees for a foreign company which was supposed to coach MT entities in succeeding in the Moneyval and FATF evaluations. If the government wants to be credible all responsible Head of Departments should resign en bloc,.i.e Fiau, NCC, ARB et al

Graham Crompton
Graham Crompton
1 month ago
Reply to  Antoine Attard

Nice one Antoine.

It seems that many contributors are coming out today and tonight with information that is not known by others,but it seems that we all have information to share.I have lots of information to be acted upon,shared with the police,but not yet acted upon,and I cannot understand why the police will not act when laws are broken.

Simon Oosterman
Simon Oosterman
1 month ago

I am sure you understand very well why the police in today’s Malta does not act on credible evidence of laws being broken.

Ann Selvaggi
Ann Selvaggi
1 month ago

Well done Blanche, brilliant article.

Brigid Garroni
Brigid Garroni
1 month ago

The road-map must have been”Destroy Malta”. And, sopra corna, bastonate, having ammasses millions at the expense of the Maltese taxpayer, Joseph Muscat was given severance pay. It’s obscene. It was obvious from the early days of his premiership, when he rented his own car to himself at the taxpayers’ expense, that the man was a greedy sod, out for all he could scrounge, and not at all interested in the goid of the country and his compatriots. As the saying goes: Il-huta minn raha tinten. I lay 99% of the blame for this mess at the door of Joseph Muscat.

Victor Montebello
Victor Montebello
1 month ago
Reply to  Brigid Garroni

Well said, Ms Garroni. Together with Joseph Muscat, Robert Abela always aiding and abetting the criminal organisation that passes for our government. Abela stood on a mass meeting truck in 2013 attacking and vilifying Gonzi who had made his father President of Malta. Abela has no shame. He who sees ‘waves’ from on top of his yacht, in a year and a half as Prime Minister only made things worse as FATF could easily see that is rot in Malta is much wider that a few criminals who occupied positions of great power since 2013.

Anthony T Mamo
Anthony T Mamo
1 month ago

The government did not need Daphni’s disclosures. Government itself knew as it was in the thick of it robbing us. Couldn’t arrest and process itself could it?

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