REVEALED | Kickbacks paid for Enemalta oil purchases to procurement official

Trafigura paid ‘consultancy fee’ to Enemalta procurement committee member for millions in oil purchases, via Swiss HSBC account traced to Gibraltar firm.

Documents and invoices seen by MaltaToday show that commissions were paid to an Enemalta procurement committee member for the oil purchased by the state utility, into a Swiss bank account traceable to Frank Sammut.

MaltaToday can confirm that Trafigura, a Dutch commodities company which sold fuel oil to Enemalta, deposited regular amounts into a Swiss Bank account, whose beneficiary company - Energy & Environment Consultants Ltd of Gibraltar - belonged to Frank Sammut.

The documents show that Trafigura deposited payments to the nominee company, while also making specific reference to the Enemalta contract number for the purchase of oil, and referring to the commission paid as a 'consultancy fee'.

Sammut was a member of the oil procurement committee set up by Investments Minister Austin Gatt, under whose remit Enemalta fell. Every year, Enemalta purchases around €360 million of oil or around €1 million a day.

Sammut was previously also chief executive officer of the government-owned Mediterranean Offshore Bunkering Company.

MaltaToday now has in hand conclusive and irrefutable evidence that commissions were paid to Frank Sammut's Swiss bank account when he was appointed on this powerful committee to buy oil for Enemalta, when he also served as CEO at the MOBC.

Enemalta's main supplier of low sulphur oil, TrafiguraBeheer BV, based in Lucerne, Switzerland, paid commissions - described as 'consultancy fees' - in an HSBC bank account in Lugano belonging to Energy & Environment Consultants Ltd.

Documents in MaltaToday's hands shows that on various occasions, Trafigura paid commissions "on contract of sale of low sulphur fuel oil to Enemalta" with an invoice number that matches that of the relative Enemalta fuel purchase.

As an example, on 6 February 2004, Trafigura invoiced Enemalta for the amount of US$4.4 million for 26,000 metric tonnes of low sulphur fuel oil, delivered to Malta by the Zoja 1 tanker.

Another document shows that on 25 March 2004, Trafigura was invoiced for US$19,402 by Energy & Environment Consultants - registered at 28, Irish Town, Gibraltar and holding an HSBC account at Piazza Manzoni in Lugano.

The invoice to Frank Sammut refers to the contract number issued by Trafigura for the sale of the Enemalta oil.

While also serving as MOBC chief executive, Sammut appears as the beneficiary of the consultancy firm. Around US$300,000 dollars a year were deposited by Trafigura as consultancy fees on contract of supply of fuel to Enemalta.

Sammut's name is not new: MaltaToday is aware a very senior Nationalist politician was informed that the government appointee could not be trusted, and yet nothing was ever done. Even documentation concerning Sammut's dealings had been reported by a well-known Birkirkara entrepreneur involved in oil importation to the government.

Experts in the field at the time also made it known that the new purchasing system could lead to some very serious abuse.

And a hint of something truly unorthodox first appeared last week in a letter to The Times by a former senior manger at Enemalta, John Pace, who claimed that Gatt's administrative changes at Enemalta included a change in the way fuel was being procured.

"In 2003, Josef Bonnici lost his seat and Austin Gatt became the minister responsible for Enemalta. He immediately made administrative changes at Enemalta, including a change in how fuel was procured. This resulted in the formation of a powerful lobby by the fuel importers who would stand to lose millions of euros if the power station converted to gas. This lobby may have influenced the decision but I think the real reason lay elsewhere."

Even a former Nationalist candidate for the European Parliament, Frank Portelli - the director of St Philip's Hospital - in August 2009 claimed he would be willing to reveal Enemalta officials he believed were on the take, only if whistleblowers' legislation were in force.

Enemalta's oil purchases persisted even after in 2006, the government cabinet approved an electricity generation plan for 2006-2015 that said the Delimara power station should be converted to gasoil. But in 2008, this policy was ignored to allow heavy fuel oil to fire a new Delimara power station extension supplied by Danish firm BWSC.

Several attempts to contact Frank Sammut by phone at his Marsaxlokk residence for a comment yesterday evening proved futile.

Who are Trafigura?

Trafigura has been featured in previous allegations of malpractice since its creation in 1993 when a group of entrepreneurs split away from the group led by controversial US businessman Marc Rich. These include being the first company contracted to sell oil produced in Sudan in 1999, a year after the US bombed Khartoum and had declared the country a state sponsor of terrorism, barring all US companies from doing business with the regime.

Trafigura was also named in the Iraq Oil-for-Food Scandal, and convicted in Amsterdam in 2010 for illegally dumping toxic waste in Ivory Coast and fined €1 million. A September 2009 UN report says up to 108,000 people sought hospital treatment because of this. In the same year, Trafigura tried to prevent reporting of a question in the UK parliament of the Ivory Coast affair in The Guardian newspaper by using a "super-injunction" gagging order, and brought a libel suit against the BBC's Newsnight programme for their reporting on the story.

In February of last year, the public prosecutor in the Netherlands opened an inquiry into allegations Trafigura paid bribes to a leading politician in Jamaica. Trafigura is the world's third-largest oil and metals trader after Vitol and Glencore. Although based in Amsterdam, the company has an opaque offshore network using many subsidiaries and shell companies in its international dealings. The fiscal address is in Amsterdam, the operational centre is in London, while the headquarters are in Lucerne, Switzerland. Trafigura's main shareholders are Jersey, Dutch Antilles and Maltese-based companies.

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Why did MaltaToday issue a 9 year old 'scoop' now? MaltaToday should have divulged this story after elections. The paper's intentions are so clear that I wonder who is pulling Savior Balzan's strings. He is not as independent as he wants me to believe. I have my doubts now.
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is sur sammut ilu mill 80's jahdem fil qasam tal energija. jekk poggiehx il labour jew jekk ikkomfermahx jew keccieh il pn mhux kwistjoni. dan mhux kaz politiku imma bniedem li abbuza mil posizzjoni u il poteri li kellu u bhalu nahseb li hawn hafna aktar. issa irid jerfa ir responsabbilta u jpatti ghal dak li ghamel.
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A half-truth is a lie, sometimes worse than a lie. The Labour Party, in collusion with Malta Today, has given the impression that Frank Sammut is still CEO at Mediterranean Oil Bunkering and that he’s still ripping off a percentage of purchases which are then sent to a secret Swiss bank account. The documents they show are dated 2004, but still they give the impression that the situation carries on until today, but they just don’t have the documents to show us. The truth is that Frank Sammut was kicked out of Mediterranean Oil Bunkering in July 2004. You can read the termination memorandum which he received here: Termination letter If the PDF fails to upload quickly enough, you can see a picture of the memorandum below. I am given to understand that he was removed because there were suspicions about him, but no facts or information to bear these suspicions out. So to be on the safe side, they just terminated his contract. The bank account information has only emerged now, in the mysterious possession of the Labour Party. The point is this. Far from backing Frank Sammut’s corruption or allowing it to happen, the 2004 government removed him that same semester, summarily. There can be no doubt at all that Joseph Muscat knows the facts. Frank Sammut’s letter of immediate termination, dated July 2004, is signed by Tancred Tabone, currently president of the Chamber of Commerce, with whom Muscat appears to have a fond relationship (see photographs below). What we are dealing with here is a Labour leader who spent years being groomed in his role as a Super One propaganda hack, and who just can’t detach himself from that mentality of lies, fabrication and manipulation.
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A half-truth is a lie, sometimes worse than a lie. The Labour Party, in collusion with Malta Today, has given the impression that Frank Sammut is still CEO at Mediterranean Oil Bunkering and that he’s still ripping off a percentage of purchases which are then sent to a secret Swiss bank account. The documents they show are dated 2004, but still they give the impression that the situation carries on until today, but they just don’t have the documents to show us. The truth is that Frank Sammut was kicked out of Mediterranean Oil Bunkering in July 2004. You can read the termination memorandum which he received here: Termination letter If the PDF fails to upload quickly enough, you can see a picture of the memorandum below. I am given to understand that he was removed because there were suspicions about him, but no facts or information to bear these suspicions out. So to be on the safe side, they just terminated his contract. The bank account information has only emerged now, in the mysterious possession of the Labour Party. The point is this. Far from backing Frank Sammut’s corruption or allowing it to happen, the 2004 government removed him that same semester, summarily. There can be no doubt at all that Joseph Muscat knows the facts. Frank Sammut’s letter of immediate termination, dated July 2004, is signed by Tancred Tabone, currently president of the Chamber of Commerce, with whom Muscat appears to have a fond relationship (see photographs below). What we are dealing with here is a Labour leader who spent years being groomed in his role as a Super One propaganda hack, and who just can’t detach himself from that mentality of lies, fabrication and manipulation.
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A half-truth is a lie, sometimes worse than a lie. The Labour Party, in collusion with Malta Today, has given the impression that Frank Sammut is still CEO at Mediterranean Oil Bunkering and that he’s still ripping off a percentage of purchases which are then sent to a secret Swiss bank account. The documents they show are dated 2004, but still they give the impression that the situation carries on until today, but they just don’t have the documents to show us. The truth is that Frank Sammut was kicked out of Mediterranean Oil Bunkering in July 2004. You can read the termination memorandum which he received here: Termination letter If the PDF fails to upload quickly enough, you can see a picture of the memorandum below. I am given to understand that he was removed because there were suspicions about him, but no facts or information to bear these suspicions out. So to be on the safe side, they just terminated his contract. The bank account information has only emerged now, in the mysterious possession of the Labour Party. The point is this. Far from backing Frank Sammut’s corruption or allowing it to happen, the 2004 government removed him that same semester, summarily. There can be no doubt at all that Joseph Muscat knows the facts. Frank Sammut’s letter of immediate termination, dated July 2004, is signed by Tancred Tabone, currently president of the Chamber of Commerce, with whom Muscat appears to have a fond relationship (see photographs below). What we are dealing with here is a Labour leader who spent years being groomed in his role as a Super One propaganda hack, and who just can’t detach himself from that mentality of lies, fabrication and manipulation.
avatar
A half-truth is a lie, sometimes worse than a lie. The Labour Party, in collusion with Malta Today, has given the impression that Frank Sammut is still CEO at Mediterranean Oil Bunkering and that he’s still ripping off a percentage of purchases which are then sent to a secret Swiss bank account. The documents they show are dated 2004, but still they give the impression that the situation carries on until today, but they just don’t have the documents to show us. The truth is that Frank Sammut was kicked out of Mediterranean Oil Bunkering in July 2004. You can read the termination memorandum which he received here: Termination letter If the PDF fails to upload quickly enough, you can see a picture of the memorandum below. I am given to understand that he was removed because there were suspicions about him, but no facts or information to bear these suspicions out. So to be on the safe side, they just terminated his contract. The bank account information has only emerged now, in the mysterious possession of the Labour Party. The point is this. Far from backing Frank Sammut’s corruption or allowing it to happen, the 2004 government removed him that same semester, summarily. There can be no doubt at all that Joseph Muscat knows the facts. Frank Sammut’s letter of immediate termination, dated July 2004, is signed by Tancred Tabone, currently president of the Chamber of Commerce, with whom Muscat appears to have a fond relationship (see photographs below). What we are dealing with here is a Labour leader who spent years being groomed in his role as a Super One propaganda hack, and who just can’t detach himself from that mentality of lies, fabrication and manipulation.
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X' arukaża ta' nies!! Ara jippretendux li jerġgħu jkunu fil-gvern wara dawn il-ħniżrijiet kollha. Lanqas jistħu!! Għalhekk ma jridux juruh il-kuntratt tal-BWSC....għax hemm xi ħaġa tintenn!! PFFFFFFF
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I am shocked and appauled what a disgrace. This is all GonziPN`s fault, should have seen it coming, that explains why oil is so important for Malta. People should end up in prison, the more the better. Only way out is for Gatt to resign, Gonzi to appologise in a big way,PN EXECUTIVE to reinstate Franco Debono and the rest, they were right all along. Return all money to the people.
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Prosit Yet I cannot understand why there are only 18 comments. Anyway. Prosit again and Happy New Year to all your staff. rgds paul
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Prosit Yet I cannot understand why there are only 18 comments. Anyway. Prosit again and Happy New Year to all your staff. rgds paul
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According to Pantera2 (see below) this whole affair is a conflict of interest not corruption. He must be their guardian angel. These people do not even have a conflict of conscience as these people have no conscience to rob the honest citizens of Malta of all this money. God knows how much the original price of oil was quoted for before the kickbacks were handed over and the quoted price was then obviously increased. This in itself would have reduced our energy tariffs by substantial amounts. But who knows how many other bank accounts still need to be uncovered and how many other officials were involved in this scandal. The sooner we have the whistleblower act the better to do away with these absolute cases of corruption at the highest levels of our present administration.
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Incidentally further to my comment further down: will anyone be arraigned in court for tax evasion?
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rob79, don't be rude. first of all "corruption" is not the technical/legal term, that is "bribery" which refers to "exact(ing) that which is not allowed by law,or more than is allowed by law, or before it is due according to law".
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Now we can sit back and watch the biggest cover up in Maltese history, because we ALL know nobody will be held accountable, let alone punished, for this massive fraud.
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PROSIT MALTA TODAY. THE BEST. pantera2 missek tisthi jekk taf kif!!! Il-bierah iddecidejt li nivvota; JM konvincenti, Gonzi hlief jikkritika u xejn kostruttiv u fuq kollox iddefenda dan ix-xiri taz-zejt ghax qal li il PL irid jaghmel bomba bil-gass hdejn il-powerstation. Jien nahseb irid jiddefendi bil-pulit ix-xiri taz-zejt. Mhux ta b xejn irrifjuta pipeline tal- gass b xejn minghand it-taljani u issa irridu mas-700miljun u nitilfu 10 snin ohra.
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Anette B Cassar
I think there is more that "unambiguous circumstantial evidence" here.
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Anette B Cassar
I think there is more that "unambiguous circumstantial evidence" here.
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from Bat by D H Lawrence Look up, and you see things flying Between the day and the night; Swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together. A circle swoop, and a quick parabola under the bridge arches Where light pushes through; A sudden turning upon itself of a thing in the air. A dip to the water. And you think: "The swallows are flying so late!" Swallows? Dark air-life looping Yet missing the pure loop ... A twitch, a twitter, an elastic shudder in flight And serrated wings against the sky, Like a glove, a black glove thrown up at the light, And falling back. Never swallows! Bats! The swallows are gone.
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Very good Malta today. The inquiry of BWSC concluded that there was a very foul smell of corruption. I believe this newspaper has just hit the payload of corruption. This is no foul smell it's the real thing, SHIT and lots of it. Panthera 2 vote PN as much as you want. But as least have some self respect. Shit by any other name is still Shit.
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Iz-Zejt dejjem jitla' f'wicc l-ilma.
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@ pantera2 Are you mentally challenged? Politically naive? or simply an ass kisser?
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Reading this made me want to vomit! Such filth!!! When other people can't make ends meet because of the high W & E bills and these blood suckers living on the back of our sacrifices makes me want to shout out with anger! Futur fis-sod ghal skozz korrotti li ghandkom madwarkom! Ja assassini!
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Fhimtuha issa l-istorja tal-gobon tat-toqba tal-Prim Ministru? Il-gobon ghal Zaren u ghal-tal-klikka u t-toqob ghal but tal-poplu.
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We can say no more that that corruption is only a perception in people's minds . Now there is concrete proof collaborated by documents of what was going on when Enemalta purchasing oil . What is Gonzi & Co going to say now ? This is the kind of government that this country had in power . Come 9 th March so we can get rid of these parasites .
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Ah the plot thickens....but to continue this sad story to its logical conclusion, what happened to the money after it went into the swiss account? If any of it was paid out where did it go? Seriously I do not believe that this person was acting on his own. So who are the other beneficiaries? Or where others involved using similar mechanisms? Incidentally will anybody be prosecuted and will any of the money be retreived? Lastly was the minister who appointed these people involved or au courant? It is high time people started using the grey matter between their ears.. Min ghandu widnejn ha jisma!
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Issa x'se jigri?? Min ha ha? Minn gawda u ffonga ha jibqa sejjer u qisu ma gara xej? U l-poplu JHALLAS il-kontijiet mghola s-sema ghal gol-bwiet tal-klikka ta' gonzipn. Il-huta min rasha tinten. U min jisraq irid jrodd.....suppost!!!
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Now,this is good journalism,a very big well done to Malta today,other news papers should look,read this paper and learn something.
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Sorry for you Dr Gonzi, you are surrounded with people who are smarter than you.
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Well Done Malta Today. You are the BEST.
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This is astonishing.....I could not believe what I was reading....Firtly thumbs up to maltatoday for revealing this mockery. The people are dying for the truth and only serious jurnalism has the guts to reveal such intrigues. Secondly, no wonder that the final price we pay for electricity is what it is today. So we have been robbed from our pockets to the gain of a few persons, and no wonder AG did not want to convert to gas, because he had so much to lose (probably we will never know of any commissions he was getting). This is really out of this world.
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Thank heaven there is a Malta Today. We need more real journalism. Also in TV. Only transparency will rid us of the scourge of corruption, which is keeping the country from reaching its' full potential.
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If the documents that MaltaToday has provided and that have surfaced this scandal, then I think the Prime Minister should ensure three things: 1) that the contract to this company is revoked, 2) that the people appointed to this purchasing committee are removed, and 3) that all supposed commissions paid to be reimbursed (even if these are handed over to l-Istrina). I have the suspicion this is one of many other uncovered instances where we have all been taken for a ride! Prosit to MaltaToday!
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Mafia, Masonary and crass corruption are the order of the day! Lord have Mercy on us honest citizens and on our beloved country.
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whilst i agree that this is a conflict of interest and thus wrong, it does not necessarily amount to corruption.
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INCREDIBLE. NOW IS THE TIME FOR GONZI TO OFFER AN APOLOGY TO THE MALTESE PUBLIC FOR DECLARING HIMSELF PROUD TO VOTE FOR AN INCREASE IN OUR ENERGY TARIFFS AND FOR TONIO FENECH TO RESIGN FORTHWITH FOR GROSS MISMANAGEMENTS OF OUR FINANCES. JAPANESE, ENGLISH, ITALIAN, FRENCH MINISTERS HAVE RESIGNED FOR VERY MUCH LESS THAN THIS. WHERE WAS THE AUDITOR GENERAL IN ALL THESE YEARS THAT THEY HAVE BEEN OPERATING THIS SCANDAL. WHY HAS HE NOT STUMBLED ON THIS GROSS BLEEDING OF ENEMALTA (AND OUR) RESOURCES. IN CASES OF MONEYLAUNDERING THE POLICE HAVE IMMEDIATE AND RAPID ACCESS TO BANK ACCOUNTS AND DOCUMENTS. CAN OUR POLICE RE-ASSURE US BEFORE THE ELECTION DATE WHETHER OR NOT ANY OF ALL THESE SUMS OF MONEY HAVE BEEN DEVIATED TO HIGH RANKING OFFICERS IN GONZIPN OR EVEN THE GONZIPN ELECTION CAMPAIGN AND MAKE RAPID ARRESTS (PLEASE NOTE THE PLURAL SENSE) IN THIS REGARD. THIS MASSIVE ACT OF CORRUPTION COULD NOT HAVE BEEN PERPETRATED BY ONE PERSON FOR SO MANY YEAR S WITHOUT TOTAL BACKING FROM ABOVE. THE PEOPLE DEMAND TO KNOW NOW.
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...but of course, Labour won't work. U zgur futur fis-sod, their own though. Utterly despicable!
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No other word but SHAME.