Did you ever wonder what happened to the young woman in the infamous ‘Dad, jien ha nivvota Labour’ campaign from 2013? Well today, Florinda Sultana was charged in court in connection to money laundering and oil smuggling ring linked to her step-father, Darren Debono.
Sultana, now 29, was hauled to court earlier this morning to plead not guilty to charges linked to a €30 million fuel smuggling racket.
Upon a search of her home in November 2020, police uncovered €52,000 in cash, an Audi A1, luxury brand items, luxury watches, large jars with banknotes, as well as documents from the family’s restaurants Porticello, Capo Mulini, Silver Horse and Onda Blu restaurants, which police believe were used to launder illicit funds.
Sultana, who was managing some of the restaurants, was questioned by police. However, she could not link her acquisitions to specific bank transactions.
It’s a far cry from the woman we saw in 2013, yelling at her supposedly Nationalist mother that she was ready to jump ship to the Labour Party, as her father nodded with approval. It was one of the most famous tidbits of Joseph Muscat’s campaign and is still referenced today.
Littered with pepe-isms, Sultana admonishes her mother for supporting the then-PN administration.
“Everyone is suffering while they raise their own salaries, and do as they please as if they own the place. It’s a joke daqs kemm huma arroganti,” she says.
“Believe me you’re going to regret it?” her mother quips back, while Sultana raises hell over “five more years of lies, incompetence, and waste”.
Fast forward seven years and Sultana’s step-father, former footballer Darren Debono, was charged for money laundering linked to a smuggling operation in November 2020, along with another former football Jeffrey Chetcuti, fuel trader Gordon Debono (no relation), Yvette Debono (no relation), and others.
His step-daughter managed several of the restaurants that were allegedly so crucial in facilitating the smuggling ring.
Debono is believed to have been part of a fuel smuggling racket involving Libyan militias and Italian organised crime groups. He was arrested by Italian police in October 2017 and returned to Malta a year later after being released from house arrest.
In February 2018, the United States imposed sanctions on Debono and his companies for his role in threatening the peace, security or stability of Libya through his smuggling activities.
The network uncovered by police is believed to have smuggled over 80 million kilos of gas oil out of Libya.
Their arrest and charge might raise several questions about Sultana’s association with the Labour Party back then, particularly given recent revelations. Whatever the case, the video, much like milk, has not aged well.
What do you think of the video now?