The Malta Independent 18 November 2017, Saturday

Lawyer, consultant exonerated from list of potential suspects in ‘Ndrangheta gaming bust

Wednesday, 8 June 2016, 13:05 Last update: about 2 years ago

The two Maltese names who wound up appearing in an anti-mafia operation in Reggio Calabria have been taken off the list of potential suspects. The investigation was in relation to Operation Gambling, and looked into money laundering based in Malta via remote gaming firms.

David Gonzi, a lawyer, and Iosif Galea, a gaming consultant, were both removed from a list of suspects. The investigations carried out by the anti-mafia directorate of Reggio Calabria are now coming to a close.

Dr Galea was a director of a company entitled Betsolution4U. All three shareholders within the company included GVM Holdings.

The Maltese link is that of the Betuniq group, which ran its offices from Malta. The police raid of Betuniq group resulted in the arrest of Mario Gennaro, an associate of Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta. The arrest of Mr Gennaro took place in 2015, after a European Arrest Warrant had been issued.

A tribunal in Palermo had revealed the Betuniq group’s ties with the ‘Ndrangheta on 26 May 2014. In the tribunal, members of the Noce clan of the Sicilian Mafia were condemned to a total of 300 years’ imprisonment.

It was then revealed that Mr Gennaro had been running Betuniq’s gaming shops in Reggio Calabria and in areas close by, which were being controlled by the ‘Ndrangheta.

Pressure mounted when it became apparent that although it had already been made known, in 2011, that Mr Gennaro was an associate of the Tegano clan, the Malta Gaming Authorities appeared to be unaware of criminal plans to funnel millions. 

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