The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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Iosif Galea was subject to regulatory action in 2021, is appealing MFSA decision

Kevin Schembri Orland Thursday, 9 June 2022, 13:53 Last update: about 3 years ago

Iosif Galea was subject to certain action by the regulatory authorities last year affecting his ability to perform in certain functions for businesses, sources have informed The Malta Independent, but he is appealing a decision by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Galea made headlines in May 2022 when he was arrested in Italy over a German European Arrest Warrant linked to a tax investigation. A separate European Arrest Warrant was issued by the Maltese Authorities in connection to an alleged leak of information from the gaming authority, but it was reportedly issued after his arrest in Italy. The Police Force has been under fire after Galea was allowed to travel out of Malta, despite the German arrest warrant having been issued last year. An inquiry by the Police Complaints Board into this matter was launched.

Separately however, sources told this newsroom that Galea was subject to certain action by the regulatory authorities last year.

In November 2021, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) decided to proceed with imposing an administrative penalty of €53,333. The fine was imposed "in view of the performance of unauthorised business activity and the failure to provide the requested information to the Authority." Moreover, the Authority had decided to direct Galea to cease the provision of any services which require prior authorisation or registration from the MFSA, including the provision of company service provider services as defined under the applicable law.

Sources told this newsroom that the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) had also told Galea that his key function approvals - which were expiring - would not be renewed. Such key functions would include, for instance, the ability to issue compliance certificates, sources said. Galea retained his directorships in gaming companies however, pending his appeal before the Financial Services Tribunal of the MFSA's decision. This, until the current accusations in his regard were made public, sources said, adding that the MGA then triggered the formal processes for his removal from any and all directorships he still holds in licensed gaming companies.

According to his Linkedin profile, Galea is a regulatory compliance specialist & igaming consultant. Galea had, between 2007 and 2013, held the role of Compliance Officer at the MGA.

In his appeal against the MFSA, this newsroom is informed, Galea is arguing, among other things, that the decision taken by the MFSA was unjust, that the authority showed discriminatory treatment against him when compared to the treatment given to others, and that his fundamental rights were breached, arguing that the MFSA's decision should be declared null. He is also arguing that the law in terms of the fine was wrongly applied and that it should be much less.

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