Yorgen Fenech is back in court this morning to face charges of money laundering along with a number of his associates.
Fenech has been charged with masterminding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. He has also been charged with criminal conspiracy, money laundering and attempting to buy military-grade weapons off the dark web.
During this morning’s sitting, prosecuting inspectors told the court that criminal activity by Fenech had been suspected as a result of WhatsApp conversations with other individuals saved on his phone.
In one exchange, Fenech asks Tumas Group COO Patrick Demanuele to prepare a sum of money in €50 banknotes. He then messages Nicholas Cachia, who has also been charged with money laundering, and asks him: “How much have we laundered?”
“I gave you 30 and you gave me 80,” Cachia responds.
The conversations reveal Fenech directing his employees and associates in transferring large sums of money from one place to another, in what appears to be the use of the Tumas Group casinos in order to settle seemingly illicit payments to various individuals.
Fenech was arrested in November 2019 and has been detained at the Corradino Correctional Facility since then.
Last week, Fenech, along with Demanuele, Anthony Farrugia il-Buddy, Nicholas Cachia and Joseph Cachia were charged with money laundering. They deny the accusations.
Inspector Brian Camileri read out a chat in which Fenech asks an unnamed person whether “that one won those monies”. The person replied in the affirmative, with Fenech directing him on how to “mark” the money.
In another exchange, Fenech refers to some cash in France which he wanted to “get rid of”.
“Did you count the money?” Fenech asks Tumas Group COO Patrick Demanuele in another exchange. “They’re still in the envelope,” he replies. After counting the money Demanuele tells Fenech that there was about €26,000.
In yet another message to Demanuele, Fenech tells him that “the guy” is going to one of the group’s casinos every day. “It would be best to give him a jackpot,” Fenech tells Demanuele.
The sitting is ongoing, with updates brought to you as they come in.
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