A precautionary warrant of €363 million was issued against the Bank of Valletta after the bank lost its appeal in an Italian court.
The claim was originally filed by liquidators of the Deiulemar group and representatives of 13,000 Italian bondholders who lost all their life savings in a fraud scheme dating back to 2009.
The sum was held in trusts at BOV by owners of the now defunct shipping giant, registering losses of more than €800 million. Liquidators alleged that BOV allowed Deiulemar owners to set up three trusts, a vehicle for them to illicitly funnel money into. BOV became a trustee for all three: Capital Trust, Trust Gaino and Trust Gilda. The company went bankrupt in 2012.
In the wake of the collapse, seven people were imprisoned with the highest prison sentence reaching 17 years.
Last March, a court at Torre Annunziata ordered the disputed €363 million to be held through a precautionary warrant.
BOV announced that the appeal had been lost in a company announcement, which also said that the board of directors remained convinced of the “strength of its defences on the merits” but that it would keep the litigation under “constant review”.