The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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Marsa junction project investigated by EU for possible corruption involving Yorgen Fenech – reports

Sunday, 2 October 2022, 11:26 Last update: about 3 months ago

The European Union’s anti-fraud office is investigating the Marsa junction project after data found on Yorgen Fenech’s mobile phone indicated the possibility of corruption, the Times of Malta reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said that data on the phone revealed that Fenech had a background role as a middleman in the project and that he had been promised 2 million in success fees – half of which would pass through a secret company linked to the infamous 17 Black.

The tender for the project – Infrastructure Malta’s biggest roads project to date – was won in 2018 by Ayhanlar, a Turkish contractors represented by Fenech with a big which was around half a million euros lower than that of a Maltese consortium.

However, according to the report, Ayhanlar was on the edge of financial ruin just weeks after being awarded the tender, and a Turkish billionaire named Robert Yildirim had to be brought in to salvage the company.

He put a spotlight on Fenech by insinuating in an email exchange that Fenech may have bribed someone in order for Ayhanlar to be awarded the contract.

“What will you tell the court? Bribing someone but no payment,” Yildirim said in response to Fenech’s threats to sue him for failing to pay the success fees, according to the report.

The billionaire told the newspaper that he was only “testing” Fenech to see if the success fee was linked to bribery, in which case he would have pulled out of the project.

The Times of Malta reported that the police had opened a file on the case but had not acted upon it, and in fact closed it at a point before it was then re-opened after a review.

The European Public Prosecutors Office (EPPO) however has opened its own investigation into the matter on the basis that the project was co-financed through EU funds.

However, the newspaper reported that their investigation has ground to a halt because the police have not complied with their requests to hand over the data found on Fenech’s devices.

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