The Malta Independent 21 May 2019, Tuesday

Magisterial inquiry into Maltese fish farm operator following smuggling allegations underway

Kevin Schembri Orland Sunday, 3 March 2019, 08:30 Last update: about 4 months ago

A Magisterial Inquiry into allegations which appeared in a Spanish newspaper involving a Maltese fish farm operator and smuggling is underway, the police have informed The Malta Independent on Sunday.

An El Confidencial news report said 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 and that smugglers used speedboats and catamarans to transport goods from Malta to Italy. The report also underlines that Madrid Airport was used as the point of entry to introduce the highest quality blue fin tuna, with falsified electronic blue fin tuna catch documents.

This newsroom asked the police whether anyone from MFF has been brought in for questioning. Whether Ellul himself was questioned; and whether the Maltese authorities were approached by the Spanish Police or Europol on the MFF situation?

In response, the police said: "In view of the ongoing Magisterial Inquiry of this case, it is not prudent to comment and give any information on this investigation."

This newsroom contacted Giovanni Ellul and asked him a number of questions regarding the ongoing allegations and if the police had interviewed him.

The only response received however, was: "reference is made to our reply in relation to the publication of the story in which we have denied any involvement in the smuggling of fish from Malta to Spain".






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