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Here’s An Entire List Of The People And Companies Raking In Millions Off Of Malta’s Roads

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With an ever-expanding traffic problem, the government has turned its eyes to address the issue through the arguably short term measure of improving Malta’s road network, with a mass transport system seemingly on the back burner for the time being.

A €700 million kitty is set to be dished out among the money-hungry road contractors. However, questions still remain over who exactly stands to benefit the most, with Malta’s environment suffering the most.

A freedom of information request by Lovin Malta has revealed every single road contract and direct order given out from January 2013 to September 2019, to uncover the millions road developers have earned in the past few years.

After weeks of shifting through muddled information, these are the companies raking in millions off of Malta’s roads:

1. Ayhanlar Yol Asfatlama San. Tic. A.S: €38,894,356

The Turkish company entrusted with the Marsa junction project, the largest government road’s contract to date. The decision to award a foreign operator did not go down with rivals-bidders Trinità JV, a consortium of Maltese road builders composed of RM Construction Ltd, V&C contractors, Schembri Barbros Ltd and others.

Competitors filed an appeal with the Public Contracts Review Board but were shot down. The Turkish company’s proposal was cheaper. However, questions remain over the lower wages offered.

2. Asfaltar: € 25,300,071

Directors: Ian Magro and Paul Magro 

Shareholders: Loyka Limited (John Magro and Rita Magro) and Naipaul Holdings Limited (Ian Margo and Paul Magro)

Asfaltar has reaped the rewards off of Malta’s road development, finding itself involved in most major government projects.

The company currently forms part of RM Construction, the joint venture that was awarded €15 million developing an underpass at the Tarxien-Santa Lucija roundabout.

RM Construction, which is made up of Asfaltar, Bonnici Bros, and Schembri Infrastructures, also formed part of the coast road project, estimated to cost a total of €49 million*.

The entire Coast Road joint venture was made up Polidano Brothers Ltd, Philip Agius and Sons and Central Asphalt Ltd; and RM Construction Ltd. The amount has been divided equally between the parties. This is roughly €12,250,000 per company.

Asfaltar is also part of Bitmac Limited, a joint venture with V&C Contractors and Schembri Barbros, to oversee the Central Link project, at a total fee of €28,419,792.98.

Estimated earnings from each of these three projects have been added to their total.

*The 49 million was not in the FOI request but was uncovered through a parliamentary question from former Infrastructure Minister Joe Mizzi. 

3.Bonnici Bros: € 21,405,470

Directors: Alexis Bonnici, David Bonnici, Gilbert Bonnici, Joseph Bonnici, Michaela Bonnici, Samuel Bonnici

Shareholders: John Bonnici Limited, Mario Bonnici Limited, Mario Bonnici, Emanuel Bonnici Limited, Emmanuel Bonnici, Benjamin Bonnici Limited, Benjamin Bonnici

The brainchild of four brothers, the company is a leading figure in the construction industry. It forms part of RM Construction and was involved in the Coast Road and Tarxien projects.

The company has other government interests, receiving over €5 million in direct orders for works at the Ta’ Kandja shooting range.

4. Philip Agius & Sons: €21,292,565

Directors: Mario Aguis, Martin Agius, Peter Paul Agius, Thomas Agius 

Shareholders: PH. Agius & Sons Holdings Limited (Mario Agius, Martin Agius, Peter Paul Agius, Thomas Agius)

Known as ‘Ta’ Maksar’, the company was also part of the consortium which was awarded a massive bid to develop Malta’s coast road. Their estimated percentage has been added to their total.

5. Schembri Barbros: €20,618,049

Directors: Anthony Schembri, Ephraim Sam Schembri, and Joseph Schembri 

Shareholders: Barbros Group Limited (Anthony Schembri, Carmelo Schembri, Saviour Schembri)

A massive earner under the current administration, Schembri Barbros forms part of the joint venture undertaking the controversial Central Link project, RM Construction.

A third of that amount was added to Schembri Barbros’ total.

Several contracts were also awarded to Cold Milling Services Ltd, totalling €3,003,497. However, the company does not appear on the Malta Business Registry. Several searches through the Transport Malta website uncovered that it is owned by Schembri Barbos.

Schembri Barbros has strong links with the current government. Saviour Schembri and Ephraim Schembri’s other company, Seaview and Sons, is a significant Labour Party donor.

In 2016, the company handed €20,000 to the party. A year later the Planning Authority approved the development of a 1,500 square metre fuel station on Outside Development Zone (ODZ) land in Marsascala.

Through relative Josephine Guntrip, they are proposing a 9,750 square metre shopping complex, also on ODZ land.

6. V&C Contractors: €19,663,439

Directors: Vincent Borg and Charles Borg

Shareholders: Vincent Borg and Charles Borg

Headed by brothers Vincent and Charles Borg, the company is the third member of the Central Link joint venture, now known as Bitmac Limited. A third of that amount has also been added to V&C’s total.

The company has formed part of other key government projects, both past and present, playing a role in the development of SmartCity.

7. Polidano Brothers: €19,300,204

Directors: Carmel Polidano and Paul Polidano

Shareholders: Polidano Group Limited, Carmel Polidano, and Paul Polidano

Despite being a leader in the construction industry, the company, namely its owner Carmel Polidano (Ic-Caqnu) has courted controversy, with enforcement orders at the Montekristo Estate over illegally-built structures and a zoo going by unenforced.

Polidano was also involved in the coast road project.

8. Schembri Infrastructure: €18,152,266

Directors: Edward Schembri and Frank Schembri 

Shareholders: Schembri and Sons Limited (F Schembri Holdings, Edward Schembri, and Frank Schembri)

Another player in the Tarxien-Santa Lucija project, Schembri Infrastructures has a long history in the construction field. Through RM Construction it also has interests in the Coast Road project. Both have been added to their total.

9. Central Asphalt: €14,595,747

Directors: Carmelo Bartolo, Anthony Cauchi, Joseph Cauchi, Emmanuel Vella, Joseph Vella 

Shareholders: Carmel Vella Limited (Carmelo Bartolo, Anthony Cauchi, Joseph Cauchi, Emmanuel Vella, Joseph Vella)

Central Asphalt former part of the Coast Road project and an estimated fee of €12,250,000 has been added to their total.

10. Road Servicing: € 3,530,945

Directors: James Azzopardi, Joseph Borg, Joseph Fenech, and Emanuel Vella

Shareholders: Offcentre Building Services & Co.(Joseph Borg and Emanuel Vella), Blokrete Limited (Joseph Fenech and Fenech Holdings), and P&J Azzopardi Brothers (James Azzopardi and Paul Azzopardi).

11. Northwind Investments: €2,862,190

Directors: Sandra Axiak 

Shareholders: Carmelo Penza

12. SM Contractors: €2,787,183

Directors: Silvester Mifsud 

Shareholders: Josette Mifsud and Silvester Mifsud 

13. Denfar Excavations Ltd: €2,458,219

Directors: Dennis Farrugia, Shawn Farrugia, Wayne Farrugia 

Shareholders: Denfar Holdings (Dennis Farrugia)

14. Rockcut Ltd: € 2,444,326

Directors: Raphael Buttigieg and Emmanuel Zammit 

Shareholders: EC Construction Limited (MADA Developers Limited [Emmanuel Zammit, Francesco Zammit, Marie Antoinette Zammit], Raphael Buttigieg and Emmanuel Zammit).

15. Dimbros Limited: € 2,231,423

Directors: Joseph Dimech 

Shareholders: Josephine Dimech, Ludwig Dimech, and Melchiore Dimech 

Ludwig Dimech is also the main shareholder in LK Limited, who was awarded €1,040,950 in road’s contracts. The amount has been added to Dimbros’ total.

16. Galletta:€ 1,549,425.17

Directors: Adrian Muscat 

Shareholders: Adrian Muscat

17. BAVA HOLDINGS: €1,003,104.18

Directors: Brigida Agius, Adolphus Camilleri, Alviero Camilleri, and Valeiro Camilleri 

Shareholders: Brigida Agius, Adolphus Camilleri, Alviero Camilleri, and Valeiro Camilleri 

READ NEXT: Maria Efimova Raises €15,000 In A Few Days To Apply For Whistleblower Status In Malta

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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