Christian Borg is denied injunction that would stop BOV closing his accounts

Court rejects Christian Borg request to prevent Bank of Valletta from closing his accounts

Christian Borg (Photo: Facebook)
Christian Borg (Photo: Facebook)

A court has rejected an effort by suspected kidnapper, fraudster and associate of Prime Minister Robert Abela, Christian Borg to prevent Bank of Valletta from closing his accounts.

Borg who was involved in several companies, including car-rental company Goldcar which was stripped of its licence in March this year, was unable to justify his request that Madam Justice Josette Demicoli stop BOV from terminating its banking relationship with him. 

Borg, who was arraigned in court together with others last year in connection with the failed kidnapping of a man which the court was told had been prompted by the theft of a van, is also accused of illegally employing non-EU nationals at a car wash he owns and is also facing civil cases against another company of his, No Deposit Cars Malta, one filed by over 70 former customers who are claiming their vehicles were fitted with tracking devices and who are demanding a police investigation into suspected tax evasion and fraud.

News reports say investigators suspect that Borg used his car business to launder the proceeds of criminal activity, including drug trafficking.

Earlier this month, Borg and No Deposit Cars had filed court applications requesting an injunction that would stop Bank of Valletta from closing their accounts or ceasing to provide them with banking services.

The plaintiffs had argued that no reason had been given for the bank’s decision to withdraw its services and that the bank accounts were the only ones they held in Malta. 

Borg pointed out that as recently as January this year, BOV had approved his request for a platinum credit card, arguing that this meant that he had passed any due diligence checks conducted by the bank.

He described the decision to close his accounts as “severely discriminatory and unfair,” claiming that the reason was “most likely” the adverse media coverage he received - reports relating to the criminal proceedings against him and the companies he owns. 

Borg said that terminating his access to banking services would inevitably cause the closure of his companies with a ripple effect on his family and “hundreds of customers.”

The bank argued that Borg’s claims were a case of “pretended rights” and pointed out that Borg had accepted its terms and conditions when he became a BOV customer.

Those terms stipulated that it had the right to terminate any relationship with its clients, after giving them two months’ notice to allow the clients to find another bank. In Borg’s case, four months had passed, it said.

While denying Borg’s assertion that it had closed his accounts because of adverse media, the bank also argued that it could not ignore press reports about criminal proceedings.

The court denied the request for an injunction, Madam Justice Demicoli ruling that Borg had failed to convince the court that the elements necessary to uphold such a request were present in this case.