FIAU has known owner of 17 Black since February, MEP claims

Latvian authorities had provided Malta’s FIAU with details about the company’s ownership and transfers via Latvian Bank ABLV in February 2018, the Latvian FIU has told MEP Ana Gomes

Socialist MEP Ana Gomes
Socialist MEP Ana Gomes

Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) requested, and were provided with, information from its Latvian counterpart regarding the ownership of the Dubai registered company 17 Black.

Socialist MEP Ana Gomes said in a tweet that the FIAU requested the information from Latvia’s FIU in February 2018. A reply containing details including the company’s owners, accounts held and transfers made was passed on three days later.

Moreover, the Portugese MEP said that this must have been the source of the information in the report made public by David Casa, however an FIAU report published by the Casa in July made no mention of the company's ultimate beneficial owner.

According to revelations from the Daphne Project consortium, the FIAU had traced two payments totalling $1.4 million dollars, paid to 17 Black from a company in the Seychelles called Mayor Trans, which is owned by an Azerbaijani national.

The money was wired to 17 Black in November 2015 via the Latvian bank ABLV, which recently closed down due to money laundering violations.

It was also revealed that the company was listed as a target client for the Panamanian companies set up for OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism minister Konrad Mizzi.

READ MORE: Dubai company 17 Black was ‘target client’ of Schembri’s and Mizzi’s Panama set-ups

Nationalist Party MEP insisted that the authorities have known who 17 Black belongs to but have chosen to do nothing. "Any futher delay will render our authorities complicit in this crime. This situation must not be allowed to persist."

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