Yorgen Fenech was looking to transfer €10 billion through foreign bank accounts for a Saudi national in the weeks leading up to his arrest in connection with the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Well-informed sources detailed to Lovin Malta how Fenech was seeking to open an account in Monaco to transfer the billion euro funds from Saudi Arabia and Germany for a Saudia Arabian contact.
Fenech, sources said, was planning to make around €50 million in commission for the transfer.
The requests to transfer the funds came less than a month before his arrest for the assassination amid concerns that he was attempting to abscond from the island.
It appears that the funds were held in both Saudi Arabia and Germany in the name of a Romanian national. It is as yet unclear what the source of the funds was.
This is not the first time reports have emerged of Fenech attempting to transfer questionable funds through foreign bank accounts.
Lovin Malta has previously reported how Fenech tried to cash over €1.5 million worth of cheques linked to 17 Black in 2019 through contacts in Monaco.
In April 2019, several attempts to cash the cheques were made, however, it appears that there were major compliance concerns for banks in Monaco.
This came after the banks received a Europol report which revealed that he was under investigation for non-financial crimes. Fenech was even warned that he risked arrest if he entered the UAE.
Meanwhile, it has recently been revealed that Fenech was planning to liquidate his assets in Malta and relocate to the United States of America during 2019.
Fenech’s 17 Black has long been linked to government corruption ever since it was revealed that 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.
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.
Most recently, 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 earlier this week and will face trial for his role in the murder of Caruana Galizia with prosecutors seeking a life sentence.
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