The Malta Independent 15 June 2024, Saturday
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Updated: MFSA CEO travelled with Yorgen Fenech to Las Vegas, was not paid for advice provided

Wednesday, 28 October 2020, 15:05 Last update: about 5 years ago

MFSA chief Joseph Cuschieri travelled abroad to Las Vegas on the invitation of the man charged with masterminding the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Yorgen Fenech, the Times of Malta reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the trip to the gambling hotspot happened after Cuschieri had left the Malta Gaming Authority, where he was chairman and CEO, to take up his role at the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).

Cuschieri confirmed the existence of the trip to the Times of Malta but said that there was no conflict of interest or ethical breach.

"I was invited by Mr Fenech to attend this trip as the former regulator of the gaming sector," Cuscheri told the newspaper of the trip.

"At the time Mr Fenech was considering undertaking an investment and I was invited to advise on regulatory matters,” Cuschieri said.

Answering questions sent by The Malta Independent, Cuschieri said that he was not paid anything for the advice he gave. When asked, he did not elaborate on what type of advice provided, saying that "it is inappropriate for me to disclose commercially sensitive information."

He added that since he no longer served as the head of the gaming regulator at the time of the trip, he saw no conflict of interest in it. Cuschieri said that at the time of the trip, Fenech had not been implicated in any wrongdoing and he had no reason to suspect otherwise. 

Fenech, who is charged with complicity in the 2017 assassination of Caruana Galizia, is a casino owner and who served as CEO of Tumas Gaming and of the Portomaso Casino.

 

‘Prime Minister must sack Joe Cuschieri immediately’ – PN

The PN have said that the Prime Minister must sack MFSA CEO Joe Cuschieri immediately after the revelations that he went on holiday with Fenech.

In a statement, the PN said that the news is another swipe at the country’s reputation.

The last thing Malta needs in the financial services sector is a shadow cast over its regulator, the PN said. They noted that Cuschieri had failed to publicly disclose these facts, despite the developments of recent months. 

The PN said that it had to be journalists to uncover these shocking facts and continue to confirm that Malta’s institutions have been taken over by those who have interest in weakening them.

They noted that Cuschieri was one of the people placed in public positions by Joseph Muscat and re-confirmed by Robert Abela.

The PN added that Abela must immediately declare when he got to know of this trip, and ask the chairpersons of all public entities to publicly declare any case of conflict of interest like this which could impede them from carrying out their role.

 

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