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Suspected Fuel Smugglers Granted Bail For Money Laundering Charges By Maltese Court

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Gordon and Yvette Debono, suspected fuel smugglers who are facing money laundering charges, have been granted bail.

Bail has been set at 50,000 per person and a personal guarantee of €150,000. The pair will be required to sign in at the police two times a day.

The Debonos have been under arrest since November. Court sittings have uncovered that the investigation traces back to 2013.

It is believed that Gordon Debono received more than 500,000 from one particular company. Meanwhile, Yvette Debono is the owner of a number of companies, which are not operational, that have still pocketed hundreds of thousands of euro.

Investigations have uncovered that Shaun Higgans, who was arrested and charged with the pair, cashed almost €7.1 million in cheques for the Debonos. 

Gordon Debono has long been linked to fuel smuggling. He has previously been accused, along with Darren Debono, of being part of a fuel smuggling operation in the Mediterranean and has fallen under strong US sanctions. He was once arrested in 2017 after Libyan fuel smuggler Fahmi Slim Bin Khalifa was apprehended.

Darren Debono, no relation, has since also been charged on money laundering offences.

Gordon Debono has been in the news before, Last year, a probe into Satabank identified a series of payments amounting to €1.9 million between Gordon Debono and lawyer Arthur Azzopardi, who is out on police bail.

Sources have told Lovin Malta that the probe was central to investigations.

In November 2019, Debono pocketed at least €1.5 million after Malta’s courts sanctioned the transfer of the massive funds between his and his wife’s offshore companies, despite attempts to stop it by Malta’s financial regulator.

Central to the case is loans dished out between a Belize company called Oil and Ship Consultancy Limited and the Dubai-based International Properties and Investments Limited. Neither company was identified in the US sanctions list.

Lawyer Roberto Montalto is appearing for Gordon Debono and his companies and lawyer and PN candidate Joe Giglio is appearing for Yvette Debono.

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