Former Nationalist minister and later dishonored European Commissioner John Dalli set up a secret offshore company in the British Virgin Islands without ever declaring it in the House of Representatives.
In 2006, Dalli founded Westmead Overseas Ltd. in the British Virgin Islands. Dalli’s two daughters took over as directors of the shell company in 2008, after he was appointed minister for social policy.
Dalli was a member of parliament at the time, after being asked to resign by a foreign minister in 2004 over allegations, which were later proven false, that he had inserted a bribe pocket into a hospital offer.
Dalli told the Times of Malta and the ICIJ, which revealed the secret company in a leak of new data called Pandora Papers, that it did not disclose the company because it was “inactive”. Westmead Overseas closed in 2013, according to BVI registry records.
Dalli said he created the company to maintain equity in a project that “never materialized, and the company was not used.” He refused to elaborate. He added that his daughters-in-law “left” the company in 2009.
Dalli was appointed minister in the Nationalist administration in 2008, before ousting the European Commissioner in 2009 from Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi. was in contact with restaurateur Silvio Zammit, when the latter was suspected of soliciting bribes from a Swedish nasal tobacco company seeking an end to a ban on the retail sale of its products. .
The OLAF report found that Silvio Zammit had been approached by a Swedish Match lobbyist in Malta, Gayle Kimberley, and then sought to obtain a financial advantage in exchange for influence with Dalli to lift the ban on retail on snus tobacco. No transaction was concluded between the company and the entrepreneur, and no payment was made.
Dalli should now be charged with allegations of bribery that saw him resign from the Commission in 2012.
In 2017, authorities charged Dalli’s daughters, Claire Gauci Borda and Louisa Dalli, with money laundering in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud American pensioners. The girls denied doing anything wrong, and the case is still pending.