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MT 26 November 2017

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MAT TH E W VELLA POLICE investigators are analysing the links bet ween men connected to fuel smuggling in Malta, and the case of a law yer's car set on fire in October. The law yer, Graziella Attard, was not avail- able yesterday to comment on the arson, which took place on 16 October. Attard filed a case in which she is contest- ing an agreement hammered out bet ween various individuals for a €2 million settle- ment with an Italian fuel company, which also includes fuel smuggling suspect Gordon Debono, currently under arrest in Catania. The case is against the previous own- ers of a fishing company, Agostino Pa- dre, that transferred the company's entire shareholding to her in September 2015. The former shareholders are Joseph Azzo- pardi, Paul Bezzina and Albert Tabone: the latter owns a company with Italian entrepre- neur Andrea D'Aloja, who was extradited to Italy in July 2015 from the Dominican Re- public, to face charges in a Mafia Capitale investigation on a €7.5 million diesel smug- gling fraud. The other defendants in the case include Gordon Debono and his companies Petro- plus Ltd – which was part of the Libyan- Maltese fuel smuggling operation recently busted by Catania police – and Eleven Eight y Eight Limited; as well as the Italian compa- nies KB Petrols Srl, its Maltese holding com- pany KB Petrols Ltd, and its owner Claudio La Rosa, of Catania. There is no smoking gun of wrongdoing but police investigators say they are tr ying to exhaust all possible av- enues due to the possible links with Opera- tion Dirt y Oil, the Italian investigation that busted a €30-million fuel-smuggling syndi- cate in Malta, Libya and Italy. "We are aware of the people involved in the case, and that Attard herself has yet to face proceedings related to drug trafficking charge from 2004. The investigation is open and police are carr ying out the necessar y in- quries," the source said. According to Attard 's writ to the courts, an agreement set out by Claudio La Rosa back in October 2015 was carried out "af ter much pressure, violence, and fraud " so that the company KB Petrols of Malta, and its Ital- ian subsidiar y, become his propert y af ter be- ing transferred by Eg yptian national Khaled Barakat. Additionally, Agostino Padre's then share- holders – Azzopardi, Bezzina and Tabone – declared themselves debtors of KB Italy for the sum of €1.28 million. The case is compounded by a series of gar- nishee orders that La Rosa obtained against Barakat and the Agostino Padre owners and Attard for €2.5 million, and another €1.5 million garnishee order issued against Debono's companies Pe- troplus and Eleven Eight y Eight. Police consider fuel smuggling link to arson Newspaper post SUNDAY • 26 NOVEMBER 2017 • ISSUE 942 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY SUNDAY • 26 NOVEMBER 2017 • ISSUE 942 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY maltatoday YOUR FIRST READ AND CLICK OF THE DAY WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT 2019: A YEAR OF RECKONING KURT SANSONE on why the 2019 European and local elections are an important appointment for Muscat and Delia PUNISHING THE VICTIM 14 15 MEP asks ECB to withdraw Pilatus licence over money-laundering claims €1.75 SUNDAY • 26 NOVEMBER 2017 • ISSUE 942 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY today today • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY today • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY PAGE 2 PRIVATE SCHOOLS Teachers mull move to better- paying state schools MATTHEW VELLA THE Nationalist MEP David Casa has filed a report on private bank Pilatus with the European Central Bank, call- ing for the withdrawal of its licence and to be taken under control by the ECB. Casa had earlier in the week called on the Maltese financial regulator to revoke the bank's licence, in a letter to chairman Joseph V. Bannister. The private bank was impli- cated in the Egrant investigation, when a magisterial inquiry was kick-started on a complaint by the Prime Minister, into allega- tions by Daphne Carua- na Galizia that the bank had processed a $1 million transaction to his wife. The bank is chaired by Iranian-born Seyed Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, who holds a St Kitts & Nevis passport which was even put into question by Casa in his letter to the ECB's supervisory board. "The fact that the evidence directly links the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta to Pilatus Bank suggests that this money laundering outfit will continue to operate within the European Union with impunity unless the ECB uses the legal powers it has at its disposal to intervene," Casa told Danièle Nouy, the chair of the ECB supervi- sory board. 2019: A YEAR OF RECKONING 2019: A YEAR OF RECKONING are an important Muscat and Delia 2019: A YEAR OF RECKONING SILVAN AGIUS "The idea that what happens in a private home is private is simply untrue. It affects all of society..." 16-17 4 PN'S PROPERTY TRUST Bank feared PN could not repay €7m debt PAUL COCKS THE ring-fencing of some 10 Na- tionalist Party clubs in a trust was necessary for HSBC Bank to ensure the party would pay back its loan. A financial analyst told MaltaTo- day that HSBC Bank must have felt the chances of the PN repaying the money it owed were very slim, if it insisted on setting up a securitisa- tion vehicle to oversee the sale of the party's properties. PAGE 8 David Casa Debono's companies Pe- troplus and Eleven Eight y PAGE 3

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