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ECB closes scandal-hit Maltese bank Pilatus

Staff Writer | November 7, 2018
The European Central Bank revoked the license of Malta's Pilatus Bank, which has been at the centre of a corruption scandal exposed by murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Pilatus Bank
Europe   Pilatus Bank
"The ECB's governing council has decided to withdraw the authorisation of Pilatus Bank with effect from today," the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) said in a statement.

The move to shut the bank had been recommended by the MFSA itself, Malta's finance watchdog added.

An ECB spokesman confirmed the decision.

The MFSA had already frozen the embattled bank's assets in March after its Iranian chairman Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad was arrested in the United States on charges of circumventing US sanctions against Iran.

The US Justice Department accuses Nejad, who was immediately removed as head of Pilatus Bank, of secretly funnelling $115 million (93 million euros) through the US financial system to Iranian-controlled entities in violation of sanctions.