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MALTATODAY 30 September 2018

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Portmann Capital fi ned €370,000 over PEP breaches • €553 million in 'unlicensed' payments, MFSA and FIAU say Newspaper post YOUR FIRST READ AND CLICK OF THE DAY WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT 2 SUNDAY • 30 SEPTEMBER 2018 • ISSUE 986 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY Venezuela-probe firm cleared millions for clients to bypass banks, FIAU says The db debacle JAMES DEBONO 'Labour's fat cats leave voters fuming' PGS 14-15 Jet-set Record number of absences during PA meetings PAGE 3 SAVIOUR BALZAN 'Which PA member stranded in the Sicilian mountains would not have been sent a rescue chopper?' PAGE 25 SUNDAY • 30 SEPTEMBER 2018 • ISSUE 986 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY maltatoday MATTHEW VELLA A Maltese wealth management firm suspected of being used in a high-profile money laundering scheme, has been fined €370,000 by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit over its scant due diligence on its politically ex- posed clients (PEPs). Portmann Capital Manage- ment is contesting the fine af- ter the financial regulator (MF- SA) ordered that the company, owned by Swiss banker Kurt Portmann, ceases taking on new clients. A police investiga- tion has now taken control of the company's computer servers. More seriously, the company has been revealed to have pro- cessed a total of €553 million in 735 transactions for its small cli- entele of just 53 clients between 2011 and 2018 – without a pay- ments services licence, a breach that has already cost it a €63,000 fine by the MFSA. The MFSA and FIAU suspect that the company's core busi- ness was carrying out unlicensed payments services for its select clients, of significantly high val- ues not related to investment operations but as a substitute for banking or payment accounts. But both the MFSA's and FIAU's fines were only finally imposed in August 2018, after Portmann was implicated in the Venezuelan money laundering probe. Got milk? Maybe not. Grocers complain they have suffered the brunt of the great summer shortage PAGE 4 Portmann was implicated in the Venezuelan money PAGE 7 SUNDAY • 30 SEPTEMBER 2018 • ISSUE 986 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY today today • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY today • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY €1.95 SUNDAY • malta SUNDAY • TRUE RADICAL! Andre Callus versus the Planning Authority 18-19 2 Melissa Pace 'Live in the present and cherish the good times' MALTATODAY Q&A Kurt Portmann Kurt Portmann payments, MFSA payments, MFSA SAVIOUR BALZAN THE police are holding out on 'rushed' prosecutions of people implicated in the Egrant report by Magistrate Aaron Buge- ja, to conclude their investigations while the Attorney General resists a constitu- tional case from the Opposition leader to release the full inquiry report. Investigators who spoke to MaltaToday said they are concerned that the Egrant re- port will be inevitably leaked to the public once it is released to third parties. "Once the persons mentioned specifically in the Egrant inquiry are charged, the inquiry report will be made available to their law- yers, and there is no doubt the report will be instantly leaked to third parties and the media," a senior officer who spoke on condition of anonymity, told MaltaToday. "The report contains the banking de- tails of private individuals who availed themselves of the services of Pilatus Bank. Once their names get associated with the bank, they will be tainted and risk pub- lic exposure even though they have done nothing wrong." The Egrant inquiry revealed the bank never held any accounts for Joseph Mus- cat or his wife, but Pilatus did host ac- counts for the PM's chief of staff Keith Schembri. An inquiry is still ongoing on former PN leader Simon Busuttil's allega- tions of kickbacks paid to Schembri. The officer said the Egrant inquiry con- tains details that merit a focused investi- gation without 'political exposure'. At least two individuals who testified to Magistrate Aaron Bugeja could have com- mitted perjury, as revealed by conclusions referring to the contradictions of different witnesses and their intention to mislead the public on the Egrant allegations. Police want time on Egrant

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