Grocer charged with money laundering over cheque-cashing service

The accused would use his grocery store in Sliema to cash cheques from third parties, charging a commission, before depositing the amounts in his shop till, mixed with the day’s takings

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
15 September 2017, 2:00pm
The man used to deposit the amount in his shop till, mixed with the day’s takings
The man used to deposit the amount in his shop till, mixed with the day’s takings
A man has been released on bail after being charged with money laundering, banking and financial offences for using his grocery store to cash people's cheques.

Police Inspector Raymond Aquilina arraigned the self-employed Sliema resident, 38, before magistrate Francesco Depasquale yesterday and charged him with having committed acts related to money laundering.

The man was further accused of offering banking services and providing services relating to finance without the necessary licences.

The accused would use his grocery store in Sliema to cash cheques from third parties, charging a commission, before depositing the amounts in his shop till, mixed with the day’s takings. 

Money laundering was suspected because the cheques were for large amounts and were many in number.

Police investigations are ongoing - the court ordered a ban on the publication of the man’s name for this reason.

Defence lawyer Sandro Lia entered a plea of not guilty and requested the man’s release from arrest. The prosecution did not object to bail.

The accused had cooperated with the police, pointed out his lawyer. He is a father of two young children, aged 6 and 8, does not have connections outside Malta but has strong business and family ties to the island, Lia said.

The court granted the accused bail against a deposit of €2,000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000.

The court upheld the prosecution’s request for a media-wide ban on the publication of the man’s name due to ongoing police investigations. 


Due to the money-laundering aspect of the charges, the court ordered the freezing of all of the assets belonging to the accused.

matthew_agius
Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...