Caruana Galizia’s family names people it believes are behind journalist’s murder in report to Latvia’s anti-money laundering agency

The Caruana Galizia family filed a suspicious transaction report on 30 May implicating Latvia’s defunct ABLV Bank

The Caruana Galizia family has taken its quest for justice to the Latvian anti-money laundering agency
The Caruana Galizia family has taken its quest for justice to the Latvian anti-money laundering agency

The Caruana Galizia family has filed a suspicious transaction report with Latvia’s anti-money laundering agency in which it names people believed to be behind the journalist’s murder.

In a statement released on Monday, the family said the report “names members of the money laundering network whom Daphne Caruana Galizia investigated and whom we believe are connected to her subsequent murder”.

The report was filed on 30 May and implicates the defunct Latvian bank ABLV, which was closed down after money laundering infringements.

“We hope that this report brings new evidence to light, helps authorities across Europe bring criminals to justice and helps authorities prevent more murders by taking action to end impunity for the crimes and criminal networks that Daphne Caruana Galizia investigated and exposed,” the family said in a statement.

No names were mentioned in the statement released to the media.

Caruana Galizia was murdered on 16 October 2017 just after leaving the family home in Bidnija. Three men have been charged with her murder and the case is ongoing. But the mastermind is believed to still be at large.

The family drew parallels between ABLV and Pilatus Bank in Malta, which also lost its licence after the US arrested the bank owner, accusing him of violating US sanctions against Iran. 

Both banks were service providers to “a money laundering network implicating PEPs in Malta and Azerbaijan”, the family insisted, recalling that Latvian lawyer Martins Bunkus, who fought to have ABLV liquidated involuntarily had also been assassinated in a well-planned attack.

Bunkus’s murder happened seven months after Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bomb. “His murder, like Daphne Caruana Galizia’s, remains unsolved,” the family said.

ABLV was linked to money transfer to 17 Black

Just over a year ago, ABLV made the headlines when the Daphne Project, a consortium of journalists, reported how Dubai-based company 17 Black had received a payment of more than €1 million from a bank account held at ABLV.

The transaction happened in November 2015 and came from a Seychelles-based company owned by an Azerbaijani national.

Months later, international news agency Reuters revealed that 17 Black was owned by Yorgen Fenech, part-shareholder in the Electrogas consortium that won the gas power station contract.

Fenech never confirmed, nor denied the link to 17 Black but insisted he did nothing wrong.

17 Black was listed as a target client in the documentation filed by financial services firm Nexia BT when setting up the Panama companies for then energy minister Konrad Mizzi and the prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri.

Mizzi and Schembri have always denied any wrongdoing. Mizzi has always maintained the Panama company was part of a financial set up to protect his family’s interests, while Schembri had acknowledged 17 Black was included as part of a business plan for his Panama company but no transactions ever took place.

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