A Chinese negotiator first named by Daphne Caruana Galizia in the Panama Papers may have been central in making the Montenegro wind farm project happen – all while the project was being backed by Yorgen Fenech’s offshore company 17 Black.
Chen Cheng had reportedly given a presentation to the Enemalta Board in 2014 in regards the Montenegro project, where he named a company, Cifidex, as the sole agent for the project, even though the company was still a year away from purchasing the shares from the original concessionaire of the project, a company called Fersa, the Times of Malta reported.
The Enemalta board approved the project in principle following Cheng’s report. Two months later, Cifidex made a promise of sale agreement with Fersa for €2.9 million, in February 2015. Previous reports by Reuters and Times of Malta have found that Cifidex was loaned this money by 17 Black.
Then, Cifidex went on to sell the exact same shares to Enemalta for €10.3 million – and €7.8 million of that sale was sent to Yorgen Fenech’s 17 Black in May 2016.
Cheng himself had been named by Caruana Galizia when she revealed he owned a secretive offshore company set up by Nexia BT. His business card was also found by police among seized documents following Fenech’s arrest in November 2019 in relation to the planned assassination of Caruana Galizia in 2017.