Fenech Adami reiterates denials in CapitalOne inquiry hearing

PN deputy leader publishes declaration released to CapitalOne inquiry board investigating police investigation that went cold before March 213 election

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
21 December 2016, 2:24pm
Beppe Fenech Adami (right) said he was a non-executive director in Richard Abdilla Castillo's (left) fiduciary services firm
Beppe Fenech Adami (right) said he was a non-executive director in Richard Abdilla Castillo's (left) fiduciary services firm
The PN’s deputy leader for party affairs Beppe Fenech Adami has told a board of inquiry launched to investigate the frozen police investigation into the CapitalOne money laundering, that he was unaware of who the clients of Baltimore Fiduciary Services were.

MaltaToday revealed that a police investigation was not enthusiastically pursued when on 13 January 2013, as Malta entered a general election, police realised a fiduciary services company that owned, as a nominee, a company under investigation on suspected money laundering, had a PEP as its director: none other than then parliamentary assistant for home affairs, Beppe Fenech Adami.

EXPLAINER • The CapitalOne Investigation

CapitalOne’s shares were held by Baltimore to hide their beneficial owner, which included various Cypriot companies belonging to Dutchman Robert Soogea, whose four properties were raided in November 2012 where a quantity of drugs (up to 1.1kg), almost €100,000 in cash, and papers proving his ultimate beneficial ownership of these companies, were found by Dutch police. He was also tapped by police telling a woman to hide these papers. The public prosecutor in The Hague requested the Maltese to freeze their assets, because they suspected Soogea was involved in illegal activity with respect to consignments from Brazil to Rotterdam.

Fenech Adami told the inquiry board that he never exercised any pressure or influence on any police investigation, the Attorney General’s office, and that he was not informed of the investigation at the time.

He said that as parliamentary assistant for home affairs at the time, he held no executive position.

Fenech Adami said he was a non-executive director of the fiduciary services company Baltimore when it was set up in 2008 by the Hili Group, which he served as a legal advisor. He stayed on as director when Richard Abdilla Castillo acquired the firm, and then resigned on 17 January, 2014.

Fenech Adami said that up until MaltaToday’s enquiries with him, he had never been informed of the Maltese police investigation into CapitalOne, the clients of Baltimore, whose owners were being investigated in the Netherlands on suspected drug trafficking.

He said he never spoke to any of the police officers whose names were mentioned in MaltaToday in connection with the police investigation, or then deputy Attorney General Donatella Frendo Dimech.

Despite being a director of Baltimore, Fenech Adami also said he was not aware of who the owners of CapitalOne were, or that they had carried out any suspect banking transactions.

“I have never associated with criminals, I was unaware of any criminal act, and was not an accomplice to any allegation of money laundering or drug trafficking.”

Since MaltaToday published the story, the Prime Minister was swift to order an inquiry into the investigation.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.