The police are looking to arraign Tumas Gaming COO Patrick Demanuele as well as Anthony Farrugia, known as il-Buddy, in connection with Yorgen Fenech’s attempts to buy weapons off the dark web using Bitcoin, as well as money laundering charges.
On Thursday the police charged Fenech with having attempted to purchase a Glock handgun and a Skorpion automatic rifle, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Whether the weapons were ever delivered is as yet unclear, though sources have said that payment was sent by Fenech, who paid in Bitcoin.
On Monday, Repubblika president Robert Aquilina named both Demanuele and Farrugia during a press conference outside the police headquarters calling on Commissioner Angelo Gafa to proceed against the country’s so-called untouchables.
Aquilina said that Farrugia – who he described as Fenech’s accomplice in the use of Bitcoin for illegal purposes – as well as Demanuele were scheduled to attend the Police’s Financial Crimes Investigations Department (FCID) for an hour and a half appointment.
Demanuele is understood to have facilitated Fenech having access to large sums of money in cash which he would often request.
When Fenech was charged in court on Thursday his lawyers questioned the arraignment’s timing. He pointed to the fact that Fenech’s communications had been in the police’s possession for two years now and asked why it was necessary for court to be opened with urgency for Fenech to be charged.
The police rebutted by saying that investigations had been underway for a while, adding however that the police were able to prosecute on the strength of information they had received the day before.
Lovin Malta’s sources wouldn’t comment on whether or not either of the pair had provided the information that led to Fenech being charged, though they did say that both were likely to be charged in the coming days.
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