The case against the owner of Pilatus Bank, Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, which came to a sudden stop just before sentencing has triggered questions from US financial advisor. Sadr was found guilty of breaching US sanctions against his home country as he was involved in the movement of millions of dollars through a housing project in Venezuela. The court previously placed him under house arrest and tied him with a GPS tracking device for monitoring, however, the emergence and spread of COVID-19 has led to the suspension of all court cases. Many of the high-profile defendants tagged with the GPS tracking device have disconnected and left the US. So, considering Al Sadr’s wealth and the probability that he might face up to 85 years in prison, he might decide to run away. A financial blogger and consultant, Kenneth Rijock has asked if Sadr has a plea agreement considering the number of sealed documents about the case. He, however, concluded that only time would tell if Sadr will flee or corporate with authorities.
In a separate post, Kenneth Rijock also raised points about the negligence of the Maltese authorities to investigate or take legal action against the bank. According to him, Malta was getting a reputation as a “banana republic” of corruption and its reputation with the EU is set to further decline. Malta has currently associated itself with corruption and breaking the rule of law. In response to the situation, the European Banking Authority expressed serious concerns over the way Malta Financial Service Authority handles supervision of the bank, saying that it has breached the EU law.