Tumas Group Delays New Website Launch In Midst Of 17 Black Scandal
Business giant has delayed its new website launch by around three weeks
Left: Tumas Group CEO Yorgen Fenech (Photo: DOI); Right: The Tumas Group's flagship Portomaso project (Photo: YouTube)
The Tumas Group has delayed the launch of its new website in the midst of a hectic week that saw its CEO implicated in the 17 Black scandal.
Screenshots show that the powerful business group was supposed to launch its website last Saturday, but that this has now been delayed to 30th November.
On Friday afternoon, the group’s CEO Yorgen Fenech was named by the Times of Malta and Reuters (both members of the Daphne Project) as the owner of 17 Black, a Dubai company that was described as the target client for the Panama companies of Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri. The company’s bank account at the Noor Bank in Dubai was frozen in September as part of an investigation by the UAE law enforcement agencies, following a request from their Maltese counterparts.
Fenech has not denied owning 17 Black, but has insisted that neither nor any of his companies have ever had any untoward business relation with any politically exposed person.
"We have always and consistently run our operations in compliant, transparent and above board fashion and it is very troubling, not to say offensive, to read certain questions which imply my involvement in such outrageous activities," Fenech told The Times.
The Tumas Group has several business interests across Malta, most notably the Portomaso business tower and casino in St Julian’s, the nearby Hilton Hotel and the Dolmen Hotel in St Paul’s Bay. In recent years, Tumas teamed up with the Gasan Group for two major projects - a high-rise development in Mrieħel, that was approved by the Planning Authority, and the LNG power station in Delimara. For this latter project, Tumas and Gasan, along with pharmaceutical importer Paul Apap Bologna, formed GEM Holdings, which is an equal shareholder in the Electrogas consortium, along with Azerbaijan’s state-owned energy company Socar and German manufacturing giant Siemens.
Talks are also ongoing for Tumas to purchase the majority of shares from Midi plc for a project to develop high-end residences on Manoel Island.