Designer items and inexplicably high deposits led Malta’s money laundering police to charge a couple with money laundering, an inspector has confirmed.
Money laundering inspector Keith Mullan testified in court yesterday that the investigation started after police revealed a tip that Clint Vella, a 35-year-old driving instructor, and Sylvana Fenech, his 34-year-old hairdresser partner had been evading tax.
Police found that Fenech was depositing around €11,000 a month, while Vella similarly deposited high amounts of cash, including one of €90,000. Investigations of his bank account showed he had gambled only.
A raid then took place on the couple’s Mosta home, where police seized several designer items, including Rolex watches, Louis Vuitton branded handbags and diaries, and Dolce and Gabbana and Gucci items.
Large amounts of cash were found inside their home, including €9,000 in two separate jackets and €1,700 in the TV unit.
Fenech had also purchased a brand new Mercedes for €24,000 a week prior to her arrest and had already repaid €16,000 of it.
Almost half of their home was also paid for in cash.
Inspector Mullan confirmed the police don’t know where all the couple’s money originated from and whether it originated from the proceeds of crime. Lawyers Franco Debono, Marion Camilleri and Francesca Zarb are representing the couple.
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