The US Treasury has updated its entry on sanctions laid out against Maltese national Darren Debono after he renamed his Valletta restaurant which was on the international blacklist.
His restaurant, which was known as Scoglitti Restaurant, has now been renamed Porticello restaurant – and this didn’t go unnoticed by the US Treasury, who updated his entry on the 12th of September. The sanctions block any US citizens or US-linked organisations from working with Debono or his restaurant.
“The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is publishing an update to the identifying information of a person currently included in the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List. All property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction of this person are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with this person,” the authority in charge of the update, OFAC, said in a statement.
Above: The arrest of Darren Debono
The restaurant, which is listed at 8, Boat Street, Marsamxett, Valletta, was blacklisted after it had been connected to Darren Debono, who, alongside three other Maltese nationals, was on the receiving end of US sanctions.
Debono himself was arrested in Italy back in October 2017 in relation to his suspected involvement in the smuggling of petroleum products from Libya to Europe, where he was given bail.
Pictured: Porticello Restaurant
The renamed Porticello Restaurant was shown to the entire world when K-Pop supergroup BTS featured it on their TV series
The boy band were visiting Malta, and as part of an episode of the show, the singers excitedly head to Scogletti restaurant in Marsamxett harbour – but get lost and have trouble finding it.
After spending a good few minutes walking around looking for Darren Debono’s restaurant, they eventually ask someone for help and find out it had been renamed Porticello, before laughing about the whole situation.
PICTURED: Porticello Restaurant’s global debut