Panama Papers | 714 offshore companies: prominent Maltese, hotel groups, oil scandal business partner, and Belarus bagman's wife

Farsons chairman Louis Farrugia used offshore company for UK property • former PN minister Ninu Zammit, Norman Darmanin Demajo feature in list • major provider of services is EMD Advisory, whose senior consultants include former EU ambassador Richard Cachia Caruana

As already revealed, chief of staff to Joseph Muscat Keith Schembri, minister Konrad Mizzi, Schembri’s business associated Malcolm Scerri, former Allied Newspapers managing director Adrian Hillman, and Redmap Construction’s Pierre Sladden have all appeared in the ICIJ database. Find out who’s behind almost 320,000 offshore companies and trusts from the Panama Papers and the Offshore Leaks investigations here or search the MALTA databse on MALTATODAY here.

Other names we found are:

Farsons chairman Louis Farrugia, listed as an intermediary of Petrofina Holdings, a firm opened back in 1984 and dissolved in 2005. Farrugia said in a statement that the firm had been declared to the Central Bank and was intended to house a UK property. “In 1985, I purchased an apartment in London at a time when my young family was seriously considering the possibility of moving to the UK. I was advised at the time by a reputable London firm of solicitors to own the property through a Panamanian company. The company was never used for any other purpose. I do not own any shares in any overseas company nor have any beneficial interest in any overseas trust.”

Farrugia is director of Allied Newspapers, which is carrying out an inquiry into alleged kickbacks because of the Panama Papers, specifically the creation of offshore companies by Keith Schembri and Adrian Hillman in 2011 when Schembri supplied newsprint to Allied.

The former Nationalist energy minister Ninu Zammit was the shareholder of Fiveolives Services, through which he held a bank account with HSBC Private Bank Suisse.

Antonio Depasquale, a lawyer, who appears as a shareholder of City Advisory together with Michael del Vecchio, the man who set up Colson Services for Keith Schembri as revealed by the Australian Financial Review. So did Adrian Hillman use the same American adviser to set up his BVI company in 2011.

MFA president and accountant Norman Darmanin Demajo appears as shareholder of Reznik Holdings, Street Marketing, Sawasadee Holdings and Denver Global Tech.

Olga Makarova, the wife of Vladimir Peftiev, widely considered to be the 'bagman' for Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko, is the shareholder of Seychelles companies Kelly Bay Pacific Overseas and Isley Investments, and the beneficiary of Sarles International and Milden Holdings.

Raymond Caruana, gunned down outside the house of a lover, and a suspect in the bribery case of the late judge Ray Pace, owned the BVI company Dram Properties.

Tyson Debattista, owner of Silver Score in Malta, is the owner of Virile Traffic in the BVI.

Hotel San Antonio plc appears as the shareholder of Evergreen Travel Limited in the BVI, with nominee companies in the Isle of Man registered with the First Names Group.

Island Hotels Group Holdings plc is a shareholder in Island Resorts International Limited, and Bay Point Collection with nominee owners listed in the Isle of Man.

Frenchman Andre Guelfi, connected with graft between Elf Aquitane and French politics, and retired in Malta, is the owner of Umbrella International.

Alan Bruno Olivier – a director and shareholder in Fuelserve and MY Marine with Frank Sammut, the man charged with bribery in the Enemalta oil scandal – is the owner of Ice Cold Limited in the BVI, set up in 2014.

Joseph Zammit is indicated as the beneficiary of Aburrah Limited, which was set up by Karm Borg (Carmelo Borg) as intermediary. Company registry records associate Borg with Joseph Zammit of St Paul’s Bay, who is the shareholder of Associated Motors Company, Diamond Properties, Fergun Shipping, Mira Holdings, and Mediterranean Maritime Services amongst other companies.

David Demarco [he was previously incorrectly reported as Midi PLC director, with an erroneously inserted hyperlink which linked to the incorrect David Demarco. We have taken down that link and  apologise for that error] and Daniela Grioli, who work in the remote gaming industry, are shareholders of Flying Colours Consultancy Limited, set up for them by Jeanne Borg's Intertax Services of Sliema [it was previously reported that Intertax belonged to Boris Xerri, an error we have amended].

The late Vivian Bianchi, from one of Malta’s oldest business groups, had set up Openview Inc. in 1984 and later dissolved it.

FZD Trustee & Fiduciary Services Limited which is now renamed as Valletta Trustees appears in Creditinfo company records as directly referenced to Nationalist MP Francis Zammit Dimech, but the MP is no longer associated with the firm. The firm served as the intermediary for BVI-incorporated International Goods and Services Limited of Roquebrune, France on 22 April 2013. The shareholders of Valletta Trustees are Reuben Balzan, the president of the Chamber of Advocate,s and Mark Bencini and Tanya Sciberras Camilleri.

One of the main Malta intermediaries for offshore companies is EMD Advisory, one of whose senior consultants is Richard Cachia Caruana, Malta’s former ambassador to the Europea Union. They acted as intermediaries for 72 companies.

Cachia Caruana’s name featured prominently with Labour spin doctors eager to include his name as part of the army of intermediaries who make offshore possible, declared that he held “no shares in companies in Panama, the British Virgin Islands or any other tax haven and has never held any.”

Cachia Caruana also said that he had provided no advice about the opening or otherwise of companies in Panama, the British Virgin Islands or any other tax haven at any stage of his professional career.

“I have no conflicts of interest between my personal holdings and any State interests and have never had any. My relationship with EMD is solely to provide this firm and its clients with advice on EU-related matters and I have never had any shareholding or other financial interest in the firm nor have I ever held any directorships or management positions with the firm.

“The current attempts by members of the Prime Minister’s staff to imply any connection between me and the Panama Papers are totally deceitful.”

EMD on its part said that it had never assisted any politically exposed persons (PEPs) from any jurisdiction, including Malta, to set up any company, trust or other entity, whether as fiduciary or not, in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Panama or similar jurisdiction.

Nexia BT on the other hand, with so much store set by the fact that they set up offshore companies for Schembri and Mizzi, were connected with 14 companies.

Fenlex Corporate Services, from the Fenech & Fenech law firm, was found connected to three companies, Timber Trading Capital, Winsome Global Incorporated, and Shawnee Business Corp.

Businessman Mark Borda is the shareholder of Harrison Equities, again set up by Intertax.

Henley & Partners, the Malta IIP concessionaries, set up offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and Hong Kong after 2013, as well as in Panama and the Bahamas.

Businessman Jacobus Van Vliet, of Portomaso, is listed as the shareholder of JVV (Portomaso) Limited, a BVI company.

Another oil company, CBA International Oilfield Services was registered by Mossack Fonseca's Jurgen Mossack himself in 1983: it belongs to directors John Camilleri, John Camilleri jnr, and Charles Camilleri. They were recently indicted in a court case when a Maltese court lifted the corporate veil and ordered them to pay the heirs of one of its employees after they attempted to wriggle out of their responsibility by liquidating the company quickly after an accident in Libya in 1984.

The former MEPA chief executive Ian Stafrace appeared in the list – the status is suspended – as intermediary for BVI company Gilman Financial Services.

Mokhtar Ihsan Aziz, a financial intermediary who is based in Gwardamangia, is registered as a shareholder of the BVI company Roney Holdings.

More in National