Police doubt link between ‘falsified’ signatures and FIAU probe

Dubious signature is of 2004 memorandum of association for Malta company Frankef

Is Delia stalling on the FIAU investigation? His calls last week for an investigation into falsified signatures appear to have no link to the actual money laundering suspicions related to the London property owners he acted for
Is Delia stalling on the FIAU investigation? His calls last week for an investigation into falsified signatures appear to have no link to the actual money laundering suspicions related to the London property owners he acted for

The alleged falsified signatures upon which Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia demanded a police investigation last week, are not part of any document inside the FIAU dossier concerning suspicions of money laundering against him.

In what was a veritable turn of events for the PN leader last Saturday, Delia held a late-evening press conference demanding a police investigation into the falsified signatures after receiving questions from The Times on the contents of the FIAU investigation.

Delia suggested that the police should investigate a link between his falsified signature and the FIAU’s money laundering investigation which has been sent to the police for follow-up.

But MaltaToday can now confirm that police were shown a memorandum of association of the company Frankef Ltd by Delia’s lawyer, which sources insist is unconnected to the investigation carried out by the FIAU.

Additionally, they say that Delia would have received the document in an envelope and was unaware of who had sent it.

Frankef Ltd was owned by Kris Bajada – the son of Eucharist Bajada, the owner of a series of London properties connected to a Soho prostitution ring. Delia is said to have received monies from the rental of the properties on behalf Bajada’s offshore companies. Delia held just 10 out of 24,000 shares in Frankef Ltd. Kris Bajada is however unavailable for comment given that he is in intensive care at Mater Dei hospital. One of his properties was searched by police last Sunday as part of the investigation requested by Delia.

It is unclear as to why the alleged falsified signature in the MOA should have any connection to the FIAU investigation. Frankef was incorporated in 1998, which is when the MOA was filed, and alterations to the memorandum were last made in July 2004, according to the Registry of Companies.

Additionally when MaltaToday reached out to Delia this week, the PN leader did not want to specify when he learnt of the falsified signatures, given the timing of his press conference last Saturday soon after having received questions from The Times.

Delia in fact refused to tell MaltaToday what the document on which his falsified signature was, to which company it pertained, when he realised that his signature had been falsified, and when it had come into his possession.

MaltaToday has also seen variations of Delia’s signature on different documents connected to both Frankef, and the allegations of his dealings on behalf of the Soho properties’ holding companies.

The signatures on the MOA of Frankef Ltd and its altered MOA look alike, but they are then unequivocally different to the signature on a 1999 letter from Delia in which he presents himself as the director of Healey Properties, one of the companies which owned the London properties implicated in a prostitution investigation; as well as another variation of his signature on a 2003 resolution for his resignation from Healey Properties.

In his comments to MaltaToday, Delia yesterday refused to answer MaltaToday’s specific questions, citing an ongoing magisterial inquiry.

Delia’s spokesperson said the false signatures “may be linked” to the allegations “intended to tarnish” Delia. “It would be imprudent to comment further while the inquiry is underway,” he said, after saying he wants police to establish “any links between the forged signatures” and the FIAU report.

“Dr Delia strongly refutes any allegations of wrongdoing and declares that he has always acted according to the law. He categorically denies that he has ever been involved in any illegal transactions which also counts for his years as a practising lawyer. Dr Delia is a victim of signature fraud which is maliciously being used as the basis of political spin and conjecture which conveniently follows Dr Delia’s strong and unwavering fight against government’s corruption, the rule of law and democracy.”

The Sunday Times of Malta reported last week that an investigation by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit into a London-based prostitution racket had concluded that Delia many have used his Jersey account, the existence of which was first reported by the late Daphne Caruana Galizia, for money laundering. 

According to the Times the FIAU conducted an in-depth analysis of Delia’s Jersey account, which it found had been opened in February 2001 and closed in October 2004.

During this period, an equivalent of roughly £346,000, in the form of cheques and cash, would have been deposited into the account from various bank branches around London.

The FIAU tracked funds from Delia’s Jersey account being transferred to two Swiss accounts as well as the company Healey Properties Limited, which is registered in the Bahamas.

The company owned a number of the properties known to have been used as brothels over this period. Its ultimate beneficial owner is believed to be Eucharist Bajada, brother to Emanuel Bajada, who, together with his wife Eve, are believed to have collected rent from the properties.

The company is believed to have held eight accounts at Bank of Valletta and possibly others in different jurisdictions.

More than half of the money, some £218,000 was transferred to two accounts in Switzerland but it was unclear where the money moved to next.  £91,568 went to Healey Properties Ltd and £40,000 to E&M Bajada Ltd, in Malta.

Investigators who spoke with the newspaper pointed out that deposits to Delia’s account were irregular and varied from £400 to £16,000 per deposit, suggesting they were not regular rent payments.

MaltaToday had also revealed a board resolution showing Healey Properties accepting the resignation as directors of both Adrian Delia and Chris Cardona, who is today economy minister and Labour deputy leader for party affairs. The document is dated 2 December 2003 and is signed by Delia only. The two men were replaced as directors by two companies, one of which appears to be registered in the UK, and the second in the British Virgin Islands.

Healey Properties owned 52, Greek Street in London – a property that was raided by London police during Operation Pabail, an investigation into a prostitution racket. According to a letter addressed to Delia from London lawyers acting on behalf of Emanuel aka ‘Lolly’ Bajada – who in 2005 was charged in Malta with living off earnings from prostitution – Healey Properties and AAS Freight were the beneficiaries of the London rents collected by Emanuel Bajada.

In December 2003, the lawyers acting on behalf of Healey and AAS insisted that the Emanuel and Eve Bajada had yet to forward all the rent accumulated from 1999 to the companies, some £20,000 every month, through Adrian Delia’s Barclays International account in Jersey.