CapitalOne fiduciary director Richard Abdilla Castillo reinstated on Hili boards

The Hili group has reinstated as director Richard Abdilla Castillo, the owner of Baltimore Fiduciary

Abdilla Castillo had resigned his post as a director of the Hili Group ahead of a €20 million bond issue by Premier Capital in October
Abdilla Castillo had resigned his post as a director of the Hili Group ahead of a €20 million bond issue by Premier Capital in October

The Hili group has reinstated as director Richard Abdilla Castillo, the owner of Baltimore Fiduciary which at one point was at the centre of a shelved police investigation into alleged money laundering.

Abdilla Castillo had resigned his post as a director of the Hili Group ahead of a €20 million bond issue by Premier Capital in October.

Baltimore had been identified in a police investigation as the nominee shareholder and name-lender for CapitalOne Investment Group, a company that police suspected was a vehicle for money laundering. The case happened in early 2013, but it was only in 2016 that MaltaToday revealed that a police inspector’s request for investigation was ignored by top brass.

One of Baltimore Fiduciary’s directors at the time was Nationalist MP Beppe Fenech Adami.

In a company announcement for PTL Holdings and Hili Group, the group said no further disclosures for Abdilla Castillo’s appointment as director were necessary beyond the fact that Baltimore Fiduciary was fined €16,000 by the financial regulator and had now surrendered its authorisation.

The fiduciary was responsible for the company CapitalOne, a company owned by a Dutch poker player whose residences had been raided by Dutch police in a drug bust in November 2012. Subsequently, Maltese police found large amounts of cash being being transferred from Greek companies into CapitalOne and then deposited into a Valletta Fund Management account, before being transferred back to other Greek companies.

MaltaToday, which broke the story, reported that the police investigation was not pursued when investigators highlighted the presence of Nationalist MP Beppe Fenech Adami – then the parliamentary assistant for home affairs – as a director of Baltimore Fiduciary.

Fenech Adami resigned his post in Baltimore in January 2014. In August 2016, Abdilla Castillo sold off CapitalOne to convicted Greek fraudster Ioannis Moustos, whose own companies transferred large amounts of cash to the Maltese firm. Abdilla Castillo had resigned his directorship pending a government inquiry into the reasons why a police investigation was not taken forward.

The board of inquiry did not determine whether the money laundering investigation was not pursued because of Fenech Adami’s role as non-executive director in Baltimore. But it said the police were “duty-bound to investigate CapitalOne on the serious suspicions of money laundering” and that the case “merited its own formal file, and had to be given the right direction from Aquilina’s superiors, so that it could be carried out like other normal investigations.”

The board said a technical report into some €5 million in CapitalOne banking transactions warranted a more thorough investigation, and the contents were passed on to the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit.

 

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