As quoted by the Independent, Minister Farrugia’s comments on why Pilatus Bank has not been sealed off is the following:
“The MFSA had to take a number of decisions. The MFSA took the decisions they felt necessary at this moment in time. The Malta Police Force made contact with their American counterparts. From their end they did not request any sealing off or anything like that. Whatever happened did not happen in Malta. Pilatus Bank is not, from the information we have, related directly or indirectly to the investigations being carried out in the USA. Any illegality being investigated is basically an American issue,” the minister said.
The MFSA did make a number of decisions. It decided that, in light of the fact that the bank’s owner and chairman has been arrested by the United States for money laundering and four other charges, the bank that he owns certainly did not carry out any money laundering. It decided this based on reasons it has not seen fit to disclose.
The American counterparts did not request that the bank is sealed off. That is because, despite the hard work and integrity of much of the Police Force, the Chief of Police is a political puppet. This explains his decision to close his eyes, persistently, to the worst abuses. Lawrence Cutajar’s humiliating press conferences and statements, passed off as normal here, are not par for the course to the justice system of the United States. Clearly, he is not a reliable partner for American authorities.
Whatever happened did not happen in Malta – but the persistent refusal to close the bank owned by a man arrested by the United States on charges of money laundering; the persistent argument that a man who (allegedly) carried out crimes in the US could not have carried out crimes here; points at best to willful ignorance. At worst, it points to collusion.
Michael Farrugia – a politician who recently coopted the phrase “the situation is desperate” whilst giving a speech, despite the fact that he has mainfestly failed to protect Maltese security and public life – said what he said to please his boss. A pity he cares so much for public relations, and so little for his country.