Malta’s police are allegedly investigating whether Robert and Adrian Agius, better known as the Tal-Maksar brothers, had moles within the force and the Malta Security Services.
Well-informed sources have told Lovin Malta that investigations have uncovered attempts by the Maksar brothers to recruit informants within the two key investigative institutions.
It appears that the Maksars may have succeeded in bringing on board people within the police force – while investigations continue into whether their attempts in the MSS proved successful.
Adrian and Robert Agius, believed to be some of Malta’s top criminals, were recently arrested in connection to the murders of lawyer Carmel Chircop and journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia respectively. They have also been charged with drug trafficking.
Previous reports revealed that the Agius’ criminal web extends to a series of violent murders between gang members opening up a vacuum for the Agius brothers to become the major players in the smuggling world with ties to Italian, Libyan, Romanian and Albanian organised crime groups.
Sources have now suggested that their criminal empire could have even infiltrated some of Malta’s key institutions. The brothers were allegedly desperate to get a mole inside the MSS, which has access to wiretapped conversations and other vital forms of criminal intelligence, after already acquiring informants in the force.
It appears that electronic devices, including mobile phones, could hold the key to unravelling the suspicions. They were seized upon their arrest but are yet to be sent to Europol for further analysis, however, that could happen shortly.
Malta’s police refused to comment on the investigation – telling Lovin Malta that “it would not be prudent” to answer on a case that “would disrupt the administration of justice”.
The force has undergone significant changes since Angelo Gafa was appointed police commissioner in 2020, with reforms to the Economic Crimes Unit proving vital in recent arrests and charges of key figures like former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.
However, his predecessors still cast a dark shadow over the work currently being done. Former Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar is under official investigation for leaking information on the Daphne Caruana Galizia investigation to a confidante of state witness Melvin Theuma.
Meanwhile, Cutajar’s deputy, Silvio Valletta is also under investigation after being name-dropped as a vital leak of information in the Daphne Caruana Galizia investigation by both Theuma and confessed killer Vince Muscat.
Valletta, who is the estranged husband of Education Minister Justyne Caruana, is referenced heavily in Theuma’s secret recordings, in particular with relation to leaks from the police investigation to main suspect Yorgen Fenech.
These details included the arrest of the three men charged with carrying out the murder, Muscat’s potential pardon, information that Theuma’s and Yorgen Fenech’s phones were wiretapped, and that Chris Cardona’s number was discovered on the phone of one of Daphne’s killers.
Vince Muscat has also told the courts that Valletta was a source of information on crucial details like Caruana Galizia’s whereabouts in the lead-up to her murder and the imminent arrests of the three hitmen.
Muscat explained that Alfred Degiorgio would reach out to Cardona, who would use a high-profile lawyer, who already has major links to this case, to reach out to Valletta for information. Cardona has denied the claims.
Media reports and court sittings have also revealed that he had an intimate relationship with main suspect Yorgen Fenech. He held dinners with Fenech and went abroad with him on at least two occasions. Meanwhile, there exists a video of Valletta “fooling around” in Fenech’s Rolls Royce.
Valletta, who is referred to as “Valletta l-oħxon” in Theuma’s secret recordings of Fenech, was leading the case into the assassination until he was forcibly removed by court order. He was the one who set up unprecedented briefings with former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Schembri on the case. The briefings started soon after the murder and continued up until a month before Theuma’s arrest.
There are also concerns surrounding the previous Economic Crimes Unit, which was lead by still-Assistant Commissioner Ian Abdilla. Abdilla, and several other officers in his department, were swiftly moved out at the start of Gafa’s tenure following years of inaction on major financial crime.
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