The Malta Independent 25 September 2023, Monday
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'Lilu King' Elmushraty was ‘like a ghost’ with no official income or property, inspector tells court

Monday, 5 June 2023, 19:08 Last update: about 5 months ago

A police inspector has likened Libyan boxer Mohamed Ali Ahmed Elmushraty, better known by his nickname 'Lilu King,' to a "ghost" insofar as his fiscal presence in Malta.

Elmushraty has been in custody for the past two weeks, after he was arraigned last month accused of money laundering, tax evasion and participation in organised crime. He is also facing other charges relating to breaching bail conditions and unlicensed driving. 

Police Inspector Mark Mercieca took the witness stand when the compilation of evidence continued before magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech on Monday. 

He told the court that Elmushraty was one of several individuals being investigated by a police task force, as part of a wider police investigation into a criminal organisation involved in the drug trade.

He had requested refugee status in Malta, but his luxurious lifestyle had soon drawn the attention of the police, who opened a financial investigation in view of his lack of any declared income. "Elmushraty was like a ghost. He was not registered to the tax authorities, VAT, social services. Neither was any property registered to him," the inspector told the court.

Despite this apparent lack of income, Elmushraty lived a luxurious lifestyle. The police surveillance operation observed him using several luxury vehicles and spending time in the company of persons who he described as "well known to the police in connection with drug importation." 

Elmushraty himself was already on two sets of bail conditions relating to separate criminal proceedings. His bail conditions included signing a bail book every day, observing a curfew, and not leaving the Maltese islands, explained the inspector.

Court imposed travel bans notwithstanding, Elmushraty was repeatedly observed outside in breach of curfew and had even travelled to the Netherlands. When asked about this, the defendant told the police that he had booked the flights while drunk but hadn't actually gone abroad. However, investigations subsequently confirmed that he had indeed travelled abroad in the company of his girlfriend and had been captured on CCTV at the airport check in desk.

The surveillance operation lasted 3 months, from 24 Feb to 24 May and was strictly limited to observation, said the inspector.

Defence lawyer Franco Debono suggested that despite the lengthy surveillance operation, when the police had made the decision to move in and make arrests, no drugs had been found. The inspector confirmed this was true. "No further questions,"

One of the police officers who had carried out surveillance on Elmushraty was also forced to admit that although the defendant had been observed handing over envelopes and bags in suspicious circumstances, he had no information as to what any of them contained.

The case was adjourned to next week.

A life of luxury and run-ins with the law

Dubbing himself 'the King of Paceville', Elmushraty boasts an impressive 19,000 followers on Instagram alone where he flaunts a lavish and flamboyant lifestyle. In court, Elmushraty said he lived in Bugibba and Portomaso. 

Elmushraty had first been arrested in 2016 at Malta International Airport shortly after his arrival on a flight from Tunis, after customs found 30kg of undeclared water-pipe (shisha) tobacco, hidden inside sealed containers of washing powder. He was subsequently accused of the attempted homicide of three nightclub bouncers whom he allegedly attacked with a Samurai sword in May 2016.  Elmushraty had initially fled the country after that incident, but was arrested again in Malta in connection with an armed robbery the following October.

Last year, he had been accused, together with another man, of grievously injuring two other men in another Paceville incident involving a Samurai sword.


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