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17 Black Changed Registered Address One Day After Daphne Caruana Galizia Report

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A company resolution to change the address of 17 Black, the Dubai-based company owned by murder suspect Yorgen Fenech that is linked to alleged government corruption, was filed the day after Daphne Caruana Galizia published her first report on the offshore structure. 

Matthew Caruana Galizia revealed the detail during today’s sitting in the case against Fenech over the assassination of Caruana Galizia. He submitted several documents evidencing the claim, one of which even had a space for Fenech’s signature.

The blog post, entitled ’17 Black – the name of a company incorporated in Dubai’, was published on 22nd February 2017 and was the first time the company’s name was mentioned in public. 

While it did not name Fenech, the post did contain images of then-Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, then-OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri, then-minister Konrad Mizzi, and former European Commissioner John Dalli.

Fenech was first revealed to be the owner of 17 Black in 2018, after the journalist’s murder.

An email submitted by Caruana Galizia to the court showed Fenech discussing the issue with his wife a few months before the reveal – insisting that there was nothing wrong with 17 Black but admitting that Electrogas was a “huge mistake”.

Fenech’s 17 Black was listed as the target clients for Tillgate and Hearnville, the two Panamanian companies owned by former Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and former minister Konrad Mizzi.

According to one e-mail found in the Panama Papers, Schembri and Mizzi were set to receive payments of up to $2 million from 17 Black.

Meanwhile, it has been recently revealed that Enemalta forked out €10.3 million to purchase a Montenegrin wind farm from a company linked to Yorgen Fenech.

A leaked report by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) found that 17 Black had received €161,000 from the local agent for the tanker supplying gas to the LNG power station, and two separate payments amounting to €1.4 million from Rufat Baratzada, a security guard at a construction site in Baku with links to the ruling elite.

The murky structures have been linked to the Electrogas deal, which Fenech forms part of. The deal itself has been flagged as a potential motive by Matthew Caruana Galizia.

Most recently it has been claimed that 17 Black forms part of an “Azerbaijani Laundromat,” a network of shell companies used to embezzle public funds out of Azerbaijan and pay bribes around the world.

What do you think of the detail?

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Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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