The Malta Independent 23 January 2021, Saturday

Former footballers, lawyer, accountant arrested in connection with fuel smuggling – reports

Tuesday, 24 November 2020, 11:51 Last update: about 3 months ago

Two former footballers, a lawyer, and an accountant have been arrested in connection with investigations into an international fuel smuggling ring, according to reports in the Times of Malta on Tuesday.

Former footballers Darren Debono and Jeffrey Chetcuti were arrested, arraigned and charged with money laundering and smuggling offences on Monday, the report states.  They were reportedly denied bail and spent the night in prison.

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Meanwhile, well-known lawyer Arthur Azzopardi and accountant Chris Baldacchino – who himself was subject to financial penalties from FIAU over a lack of compliance on anti-money laundering matters – are also reportedly under arrest and being interrogated in connection with suspected money laundering activity.

It is not the first time that Darren Debono in particular has come under scrutiny.  He was arrested in Italy in 2017, along with his business partner Gordon Debono (no relation) and Libyan militia man Fahmi Ben Khalifa.

The three were suspected of forming part of a multi-million euro international fuel smuggling conspiracy with ties to the Italian mafia and Libyan armed groups.

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