Malta’s Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa would not confirm or deny whether Minister Carmelo Abela is under formal investigation for his alleged role in a 2010 HSBC heist.
Speaking on an episode of Xarabank aired exclusively on Lovin Malta, Gafa insisted that as a point of principle he would not comment on current investigations by the police force. He refused to confirm whether Abela is under formal investigation or whether he was investigated under caution.
Gafa said that there were regulations that afforded him discretion when commenting on the status of a person of interest in police investigations.
Judge Giovanni Grixti has already informed Abela that police are investigating him in connection with the infamous 2010 failed heist on the HSBC Headquarters.
The police informed Grixti that they have reopened an investigation into allegations that Abela, a senior HSBC officer at the time, may have helped the robbers carry out the heist by giving them key cards to access sensitive areas of the bank.
They asked the judge for a copy of the testimony Abela had given behind closed doors back in 2011 in connection with his access to equipment capable of generating key cards.
Abela has been named by two infamous criminals, Vince Muscat and one of the Degiorgio brothers, as being involved in the heist. He has even been called in for questioning over the matter.
This is relevant because police suspected that the HSBC heist was an inside job, seeing as the robbers had somehow managed to gain electronic access into a sensitive area of the bank.
Muscat is facing trial over the heist, while many suspect the Degiorgios may have been involved.
Prime Minister Robert Abela has defended Carmelo Abela, who is a minister within the office of the Prime Minister, claiming that the allegations were a “convergence of desires” between the Opposition and criminals in Malta.
Carmelo Abela has opened up a libel case against Jason Azzopardi over the claims. The case will start next week.
Should Carmelo Abela step down?