Malta: Island Of Corruption

Malta, a small island of only 475,000 inhabitants in the middle of the Mediterranean with a distance of 50 miles south of the Italian coast and 221 miles north of Tripoli. Malta was once part of the British empire from 1814 to 1964 and achieved complete independence in 1979. And since Malta is a formal British colony, English is the second language and Maltese being the first. While the Mediterranean island is a perfect tourist destination with its wonderful weather and clear ocean.

Malta has been bogged down with political scandals and corruption for years. Just recently as 2017 the island made international news with the murder of Maltese Journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia. On October 16, 2017, the wife and mother of three left her home to run errands when a bomb exploded that had been planted underneath her car. Investigators believe the person or persons used a remote control to detonate the bomb.

Who Was Daphne Caruana Galizia?

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a Maltese journalist who reported on events within the region. Her primary focus was the large amount of corruption that was prevalent throughout the political establishment on the island.

She worked for the “Sunday Times of Malta” and the “Malta Independent” from 1992 until her death in 2017. Daphne also ran a blog “Running Commentary” which focused on investigative journalism in Malta. The journalist is also known for her feud with Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, his wife, and government officials in connection with the Panama papers. She accused the Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat and his wife of owning an offshore company in Panama called “Egrant.” Later on in 2018 after an extensive independent (the investigation is questionable giving it’s connection to the prime minister) investigation, the allegation was proved false. Daphne also accused the prime minister of allowing organized crime from Italy to operate in Malta.

She wrote about Joseph Muscat’s best friend and Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri that he also owned an offshore shell company. Along with other government officials who held offshore shell companies were Malta’s Member of Parlament, Konrad Mizzi. He was accused of owning a shell company in New Zealand along with his co-worker Keith Schembri. Through her reporting, Daphne realized that her country was a hub for illegal drug trafficking, people smuggling and a playground for Italy’s organized crime. She pointed to the prime minister and his government as the source of Malta’s rampant corruption.

Daphne wrote articles on the prime minister and his cabinet accusing them of being crooks and so did the threats from anonymous persons and libel suits from the prime minister. In the years before her murder, she had received death threats in the form of letters, emails, her dog throat was slit, phone calls, and somebody set the front door of her house on fire with the intent of killing her and her family. Daphne dedicated her life to fighting truly crooked evil people so it’s no surprise she attracted these death threats from the wicked of the human race. After the death of the Journalist, the prime minister promised to use all his resources in catching those responsible for Daphne’s murder.

Murder Links To Government 

In December 2017, several people had been arrested including three main suspects accused in connection with setting off the bomb that killed the mother of three. the accused were Vince Muscat, Alfred Degiorgio, and George Degiorgio. The trial for the three suspects began last year but the investigation continues as authorities believe the three men were only hired to kill the journalist. As leads into the probe were hitting dead ends investigators got a lead last November. A self-confessed, “middle man” Melvin Theuma came forward in court to testify that he knew who was responsible for the murdered journalist.

Melvin Theuma was arrested last November on money-laundering charges. In exchange for having all charges dropped in his case, he offered to provide crucial evidence in the Daphne Caruana murder case trial. Melvin Theuma says he was directed by local businessman Yorgen Fenech to plan the murder. Fenech, a Maltese business that owns many casinos in Malta and companies in Dubai. One company he owns in Dubai is 17 black Limited.

The prime minister’s staff used this company for money laundering. Through this company, Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi received and routed money to their offshore shell companies. Yorgen Fenech has also been accused of bribing local politicians to suit his needs. Melvin Theuma describes in great detail how he was giving funds from Yorgen Fenech to give to the three alleged suspects in the murder plot. Also, he says he had meetings with the prime minister’s staff before and after the murder-which included Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri.

In November of last year the businessman Yorgen Fenech after having received a tip-off attempted to run by leaving the island on his yacht. The police were lucky as they were able to apprehend him before he could run from justice. The businessman has denied accusations that he was the mastermind behind the journalist’s death. Fingers have pointed towards the prime minister chief of staff, Keith Schembri as the mastermind. Since Daphne Caruana’s death, both Keith Schembri and Konrad have both resigned because of the large amount of political corruption in the government office.

In November of 2019, masses of people went to the streets to demand the prime minister step down because of his connections to the murder of the slain journalist. In January of 2020, prime minister, Joseph Muscat officially stepped down from office do to the political scandal. The trial for the murder of the journalist and the investigation is still ongoing.

13 thoughts on “Malta: Island Of Corruption

    1. I have been following this story since 2017. Malta is a small island that Europeans come for vacations all the time. The apartments rentals are cheap for living and vacations but the salaries are low if you live there. I had a friend who moved there with his family then moved back to Berlin. The place looks good on paper because everybody speaks english and it has tons of jobs for English speakers but it’s extremely racist and corrupt. I would even say it’s one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. Even more than Italy and Spain and that’s saying a lot. And with Saudi Arabia, are you referring to the Jamal Khashoggi situation? Or Yemen?

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      1. I see. This is all new to me. I’ve heard about Malta being a tourist destination in Europe and that English is second only to Maltese in terms of language usage. I’m sorry to hear it’s racist and corrupt. I’ll certainly avoid that nation. Yes, I was referring to Jamal Khashoggi. I should’ve been clear.

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      2. The situation regarding Jamal Khashoggi made me extremely angry. To kill that man in that embassy. The prince had to feel confident followed by arrogance that there would be no consequences for his actions. And, in a way, there wasn’t any real consequence for this murder. Saudi Arabia can do what they want because they are backed by the United States…regardless of their actions. I didn’t know this man but he must have felt fear knowing that these people set him up to be killed. If I’m correct I think he was already a little nervous before thinking that the Saudis might try and pull something. No one would ever think they would kill someone on Turkish soil. Personally, I have a big problem with Saudi Arabia. The USA and Saudi Arabia are the main reason the Middle East is in turmoil. I notice how the news reported on the issue when it was hot and then let it fade. That whole country should be boycotted for all the horrible things it does internally and internationally.

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      3. That was well said. I was angry about how Khashoggi was murdered. You make a good point when it comes to what causes the Middle East to be unstable. There are countries who are facing sanctions or travel bans for doing less or nothing atrocious at all!

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      4. Good question. Besides my thought of the impeachment being a distraction from other issues going on in the world, I will say that the Democrats were going at this the wrong way. There are certainly impeachable things about Trump, but they could’ve hit him with other things that weren’t mentioned in the articles.

        I’m still debating as to who could challenge him in this year’s election because there aren’t many good choices.

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      5. I was thinking the same thing about Trump’s impeachment. To try to impeach him over the Ukraine thing was stupid. If anything, the Democrats just handed him the election. The scene of Nancy Pelosi ripping up that paper after the proceedings was hilarious. I don’t know if there really is anybody who can challenge Trump either. I hope Bernie can but I don’t know. My follow Americans like to vote if they like the person instead of real policies. Then again I often wonder would Bernie switch to the dark side of the force if he came into power. These candidates talk big and make promises then when in office they switch on you. I would hope Bernie would stay true to his word which is rare.

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      6. Sure thing. I could definitely see that argument with the ramifications leading up to the election. I’m so ambivalent about Bernie. It’s good he hasn’t been bought and has some policies that could help the country, but like you said, he could be a turncoat of sorts and I lost a lot of respect for him with his comments about how POC groups should follow police’s orders because that’s such a fallacy especially when you have mass murderers who get treated with kids gloves by those same cops. That and the reparations situation being “too divisive” is extremely hypocritical of Sanders.

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      7. Those comments he made are disappointing. My first instinct is to dismiss him on those comments alone. Living overseas it’s hard to keep up on everything that goes on back home. Yes those comments are a bother for me. But, let’s wait and see how everything plays out. Hopefully, when he’s in power he will help groups in that country that have and are being oppressed.

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