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>> Reuters sources say the European Union has made a preliminary decision to revoke the license of Pilatus Bank, a Maltese operation whose chairman's accused of money laundering and evading sanctions on Iran. Those accusations were first raised by the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was assassinated in a car bombing almost exactly a year ago.
So why the delay? Reuters Francesco Guarascio in Brussels.>> The EU response to this case and to several other cases of money laundering at other banks in other countries of the bloc has been slow. And that is mostly because simply the European Union doesn't have rules that allow regulators to intervene, too vague, and allow member states to apply them as they will.
The Pilatus case has shown Malta's weakness in countering money laundering. But it would be wrong to think that it's just a Maltese problem. It is indeed a European problem because money laundering is a cross-border business. Pilatus was about to open a branch in London, Europe's largest financial center, and had clients all around the world.
>> Reuters has found no evidence that Pilatus Bank or its chairman, Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, seen here, had any connection to Caruana Galizia's death. Pilatus was one of many stories she investigated, and Sadr denies all accusations. He was arrested in the United States six months ago. But it's unclear how the bank has survived for so long since then, especially since Maltese authorities themselves recommended punitive action against the bank.
Reuters sources have just said that there is legal hurdles, without clarifying. Daphne Caruana Galizia's investigations and her death have dominated political debate in Malta for the last year. Her murder is still unsolved.