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Fenech Adami was clear on the role of a fiduciary during the 2013 oil scandal

Beppe Fenech Adami had insisted that a fiduciary’s directors were responsible for the affairs of their client, when he spoke of George Farrugia’s Aikon Ltd being handled by Intershore, a company whose director and owner included the Labour Party treasurer

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
11 October 2016, 7:38am
File photo: PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami addressing the general council (Photo: Facebook/PN)
File photo: PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami addressing the general council (Photo: Facebook/PN)
It bears remembering that Nationalist MP Beppe Fenech Adami knew what the legal obligations of a fiduciary company were, when on 1 March 2013 during the general election he expounded on the legal obligations of Intershore fiduciary – a nominee company that held the shareholding of Aikon Ltd, to hide the identity of its beneficial owner, the rogue oil trader George Farrugia.

Weeks earlier in January 2013, Fenech Adami was listed as a PEP – politically exposed person – in the report of a police investigation dealing with a client of the fiduciary he was a director of. According to information MaltaToday has, police never decided to investigate CapitalOne Investment Group despite information from the Dutch public prosecutor of its ownership by suspects connected to the world of drug trafficking.

Fenech Adami has the benefit of the doubt since it appears he was less hands-on when it came to Baltimore Fiduciary’s operations with respect to CapitalOne: it was co-director Richard Abdilla Castillo who executed CapitalOne’s instructions to effect payments and deposit large sums of money inside a Valletta Fund Management account.

But by Fenech Adami’s own yardstick, he himself may have to answer for CapitalOne’s affairs, as comments he made back in March 2013 show.

The relevant sound-clip can be found on a One News item posted on YouTube, where Fenech Adami is explaining to the Labour press that Intershore’s directors, as controllers of the fiduciary that was handling George Farrugia’s affairs, were responsible for what was happening in Aikon Ltd.

His statement was made after the former assistant commissioner Michael Cassar had stated in court that Intershore had nothing to do with Farrugia’s suspicious activities.

It had been a sore point for the directors of Intershore, which included Joe Cordina – a treasurer of the Labour Party who gave up his 2013 electoral candidature – who sued for libel Tonio Fenech, for claiming that “Intershore was behind the oil scandal” [VIDEO].

“Joe Cordina is not just a Labour activist… but the party’s financial administrator,” Fenech said, labouring on Cordina’s political role. “A financial administrator is not someone who just signs the cheques. He administers finances and looks for party funds.”

That was on 23 February – a month since MaltaToday broke news of the oil scandal.

Then on 1 March, 2013, Beppe Fenech Adami said this:

 

“As a fact Intershore was the nominee company administering Aikon, that in itself – without getting too legalistic – creates many obligations on the nominee company towards the client it is working for, and from the criminal, civil and commercially legal aspect you are not correct when saying that Intershore had no responsibility in this case.”

That meant that Fenech Adami was insisting that the nominee company had to answer for the actions of Aikon and its real owner, George Farrugia.

This may be perhaps what did not take place only weeks before he made this statement, when the Maltese police were told on 13 January 2013 that Fenech Adami was the director of Baltimore, whose client CapitalOne could have effecting suspicious monetary transactions.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.