UN: Maltese Companies Involved in Libya Smuggling

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A United Nations (UN) panel of experts has confirmed the involvement of Maltese companies in the smuggling of Libyan resources, violating UN sanctions, a court has been told on Saturday.

This was revealed in reports by the United Nations’ (UN) sanctions committee, which were tabled in court by the chair of Malta’s sanctions monitoring board. This was in proceedings linked to an extensive police investigation into international fuel smuggling.

The documents were exhibited in the ongoing compilation of evidence against Pier-Paul Debono, who is pleading not guilty to money laundering activities between 2014 and 2016. He had temporarily held the post of Director at World Water Fisheries, a company owned by his brother Darren Debono. He is also pleading not guilty to knowingly or negligently making false declarations to auditors, destroying, altering, or falsifying documents, and breaching company laws.

The request for a freezing order, normally put forward by the prosecution in money laundering cases was withdrawn at the start of proceedings.

The accused’s brother, Darren, also stands accused of money laundering in separate proceedings that kicked off last year.

When taking the witness stand earlier this week, Neville Aquilina, chair of the sanctions monitoring board, said the UN Security Council issued orders to member nations and ordered military action and sanctions in case they defaulted.

A panel of eight experts were tasked with overseeing the implementation of those sanctions, Aquilina stated.

The witness referred to an executive order by former US President, Barack Obama in 2016 prohibiting US citizens from engaging with subjects targeted by UN sanctions and freezing any related property under US jurisdiction.

Sanctions also targeted people from Libya, Malta, and Egypt allegedly involved in the smuggling of petroleum products from Libya to Europe.