Police intervened in Yorgen Fenech’s attempts to illegally purchase firearms and explosives through the dark web in a controlled operation in 2018, Lovin Malta is informed.
A court has heard how Fenech, who has been charged in connection to the purchase, had allegedly tried to acquire weapons and ammunition through the dark web using bitcoin on 25th November 2018 and the weeks leading up to the date.
Still, Fenech’s mother, Patricia, has questioned the charges, asking whether the arsenal had ever arrived at her son’s home.
Well-informed sources inside the police force told Lovin Malta that payment for the weapons went through but never reached Malta’s soil thanks to an international law enforcement operation.
So far, investigators have already confirmed in court that police investigations into the purchase began three years ago, sometime in 2018. Unfortunately, any more official details on the case have been shielded from public view after a court upheld a request for the proceedings to take place behind closed doors.
It is believed that the prosecution will detail the extent of the operation during the sittings, which could reveal sensitive details about police collaboration with foreign entities on this case and other ongoing investigations.
According to Deputy Attorney General Philip Farrugia, Fenech had attempted to buy two grenades, two Glock pistols, a Skorpion automatic pistol and some 700 rounds of ammunition in November 2018.
Fenech on his part has denied all charges. However, sources have said that there exists communication between Fenech and the alleged seller over the purchase.
It has also been revealed that on the same day as the firearms purchase, Fenech reached out to a person via the dark web to hack an unnamed individual’s phone.
Fenech’s actions came the same month that Times of Malta and Reuters revealed that Fenech was the owner of 17 Black. The identity of the person targeted for the hack is unknown, however, sources believe that it could be one of the journalists involved in the reveal, Jacob Borg.
Fenech’s 17 Black has long been linked to government corruption. It was listed as the target clients for Tillgate and Hearnville, the two Panamanian companies owned by former Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and former minister Konrad Mizzi.
According to one e-mail found in the Panama Papers, Schembri and Mizzi were set to receive payments of up to $2 million from 17 Black.
Meanwhile, it has been recently revealed that Enemalta forked out €10.3 million to purchase a Montenegrin wind farm from a company linked to Yorgen Fenech.
A leaked report by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) found that 17 Black had received €161,000 from the local agent for the tanker supplying gas to the LNG power station, and two separate payments amounting to €1.4 million from Rufat Baratzada, a security guard at a construction site in Baku with links to the ruling elite.
Recently, Lovin Malta revealed that Fenech was looking to cash €1.5 million in cheques linked to 17 Black.
The murky structures have been linked to the Electrogas deal, which Fenech forms part of. The deal itself has been flagged as a potential motive by Matthew Caruana Galizia.
The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation has claimed that 17 Black forms part of an “Azerbaijani Laundromat,” a network of shell companies used to embezzle public funds out of Azerbaijan and pay bribes around the world.
Fenech was officially indicted last month and will face trial for his role in the murder of Caruana Galizia with prosecutors seeking a life sentence.
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