Yorgen Fenech’s luxurious automobile swap being probed

Police are trying into the way in which alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia homicide conspirator Yorgen Fenech traded high-end property with a businessman for a luxurious automobile as a part of a wider probe into organised crime and cash laundering. 

The 2019 deal noticed Fenech, and auto seller James Zammit conform to part-exchange a Portomaso condo, valued at over €1 million, for a lavish Rolls Royce Wraith, valued at round €250,000. 

In addition they agreed to alternate one other luxurious automobile, a Porsche Panamera sports activities automobile, with investigators trying into suspicions that huge quantities of money could have modified fingers.

The matter is the topic of an ongoing investigation on the Police’s Monetary Crimes Investigation Division. It kinds a part of a wider probe into Fenech’s enterprise exercise.

Contacted for remark, Zammit insisted the police had not spoken to him and had no information of any investigations in his regard. 

He additionally insisted that his property swap with Fenech was a reliable enterprise deal and that no money had modified fingers.

The phrase “money”, he mentioned, had been utilized in discussions with Fenech as “slang” and meant to indicate that the cash can be paid in full.

Zammit mentioned the property deal had been principally financed by means of a financial institution mortgage.

He added that he wished he had carried out extra enterprise offers with Fenech, as a result of those that had accomplished so had all the time accomplished properly for themselves. 

Sources mentioned the offers being investigated by the police got here only a few months earlier than Fenech was arrested on board his luxurious yacht as he tried to go away the nation in 2019, simply days after the arrest of homicide intermediary Melvyn Theuma.

Police suspect that whereas he was negotiating with Fenech, Zammit had simply been knowledgeable by an area financial institution that they’d be terminating their relationship with him.

That is believed to have been the results of considerations over suspicious monetary exercise that was handed on to the authorities for additional investigation. 

Zammit mentioned he holds common conferences with the Monetary Intelligence Evaluation Unit and no points had been raised.

Sources mentioned that at some extent throughout his negotiations with Fenech, Zammit had issue registering the luxurious automobile to the Tumas magnate’s title. This was as a result of Fenech had pending arrears on different autos. 

By the way, the Rolls Royce that Zammit traded with Fenech is identical automobile that former assistant police commissioner Silvio Valletta would later be filmed fooling about in.

Valletta resigned from the police pressure amid suspicions that he could have leaked data from the Caruana Galizia homicide probe to Fenech. He vehemently denies any wrongdoing.

Who’s James Zammit?

Zammit is the proprietor of luxurious automobile dealership Vehicles Limitless but additionally of a wider enterprise empire which falls below the umbrella of Zammit Holdings.

In accordance with public filings, he is without doubt one of the essential shareholders and administrators of Finance Home Plc, which funds loans for automobile purchases. 

Final February, he featured in a Occasions of Malta report which detailed how he was the registered proprietor of a luxurious Vary Rover that was utilized in a property swap by suspected gangster Christian Borg. 

Borg, together with 5 of his associates, stands accused of kidnapping a former worker and threatening to torture him and have his sister raped. 

In the meantime, Zammit has additionally accomplished enterprise with one other group of suspected organised criminals, Agius brothers Robert and Adrian, often called Ta’ Maksar. 

Like Fenech, the 2 are additionally in courtroom over their alleged involvement within the assassination of Caruana Galizia and the 2015 capturing of lawyer Carmel Chircop.

One of many luxurious Mercedes saloons confiscated from the Maksar brothers once they had been hauled in by police in 2021 has been traced to Zammit. He had additionally been concerned in a property cope with Robert Agius. 

Property searches on Zammit present that in 2015 he had entered into an settlement to buy a part of a plot of land in Żebbuġ in an space often called ‘tal-Għarbi’, which belonged to the Agius brothers.

Requested about this, Zammit mentioned that he had solely purchased the property on the again of a courtroom order.

Finally, as a businessman, if the chance for an inexpensive property arises, he would try to seize it, Zammit mentioned.

Zammit, the Maksar brothers and Borg had all used the companies of Robert Abela earlier than he turned prime minister.

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