The Malta Independent 21 May 2019, Tuesday

Spanish news report implicates Maltese fisheries firm in tuna smuggling

Tuesday, 26 February 2019, 10:45 Last update: about 4 months ago

Spanish news organisation El Confidencial has implicated a Maltese fisheries firm in the latest revelations regarding the fish smuggling scandal.

Andreina Fenech Farrugia was suspended indefinitely from her post of Director General of the Fisheries Department after Spain's El Confidencial published transcripts that allegedly show how she asked Spanish tuna kingpin Jose Fuentes, also the owner of the local Mare Blu tuna farm, for payments. She denied the allegations.

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Now however, El Confidencial has also pointed to a Maltese fisheries operator in what seems to be a separate situation to that of Fenech Farrugia. The news report reads that one of the tuna suppliers of “illegally caught and fattened tuna” in Malta is Giovanni Ellul, CEO of Malta Fish Farming (MFF Ltd.).

Ellul categorically denied the allegation to El Confidencial, saying that his company has never been involved in the smuggling of illegal fish from Malta to Spain.

The news report highlights that tuna was delivered to Spain on trucks travelling through Marseille from Italy. The report also highlights that smugglers used speedboats and catamarans to transport goods from Malta to Italy. The report also highlights that Madrid Airport was used as the point of entry to introduce the highest quality bluefin tuna, with falsified electronic bluefin tuna catch documents.

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