The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Five men charged with breaching EU sanctions on Libya

Saturday, 25 April 2020, 17:14 Last update: about 8 months ago

Five men were charged in court for breaching European Union sanctions on Libya, the police said in a statement.

The arraignments were made after intense investigations by the Anti-Terrorism branch of the police.

The investigation was launched when the police received information that a company registered in Malta exported two vessels to Libya without authorisation. The exportation took place in June after a commercial contract was reached between a Maltese company and another in the United Arab Emirates.

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The vessels were sent to Libya to be used for evacuation purposes by the UAE company, the police said.

Superintendent George Cremona, who leads to Anti-Terrorism branch, said the main investigation was on the breach of EU sanctions with a specific emphasis on possible money laundering. Before court proceedings could start, an attachment order needed to be obtained from the Criminal Court.

On Friday, the police charged five men – the owner of the company, James Fenech, aged 41 of Mellieha, and four employees, two men from Mellieha aged 63 and 45, a 47-year-old man of Floriana and a 44-year-old man of St Paul’s Bay. Charges were also issued against the company.

They were accused of selling, transferring or exporting, without authorisation, two Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBS) registered in Malta to Libya. This was in breach of the European Union sanctions on Libya, imposed on 18 January 2016.

Cremona said that the court accepted a request for the freezing of the men’s assets.

The five men were arraigned before Magistrate Victor Axiak. They pleaded not guilty and were given bail.

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