A politician pertaining to the Cinque Stelle Movement in Italy has resigned after it was revealed he had two secret international companies in Malta.
Enrico Cantone quit after L’Espresso newspaper contacted him about his Malta connection.
The Italian newspaper is among journalistic network European Investigative Collaborations, which said it had dug into over 150,000 documents that show how international companies were using Malta as a pirate base for tax avoidance in the EU.
“We contacted him and shortly after, he announced his resignation saying he had “forgotten” those companies,” L’Espresso reported this morning. The paper said it would be revealing all the Italian connections in tomorrow’s edition called ‘Treasure Island’.
Mr Cantone had set up the companies called Cr Holding and Carsins Eu in Malta seven years ago “for possible new business for trade with the Libya and Tunisia”.
In a Facebook post, the politician excused himself with his party and supporters and said it was only right to quit, despite the fact that it was an “oversight” not to declare the Malta investments. He said the Cinque Stelle Movement was a more important project than himself.
Among the reports carried overnight, the so-called #MaltaFiles say the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Berat Albayrak, helped establish an offshore structure in Malta and Sweden to evade millions of dollars in taxes for his company.
Another report explains how Fashion TV investor and Russian billionaire Oleg Boyko and his Latvian partners use Malta as a tax haven for operations in Europe and the US, while earning vast profits from emergency loans to Europe’s “poorest and most vulnerable citizens”.