Two charged with laundering over €1 million in drug money

Anonymous tip-off on woman's €1 million bank balance leads to couple’s arrest over money laundering

A couple have been charged with money laundering after woman held €1 million in drug money in her bank account
A couple have been charged with money laundering after woman held €1 million in drug money in her bank account

The discovery of a €1 million bank balance in a woman’s account after an anonymous tip-off led to the arraignment of a couple on money laundering charges.

Amanda Farrugia, 33, and her boyfriend Terence Cini, 34, who reside in Qormi pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace turned down a request for bail, stating that a number of civilian witnesses still need to testify. Offences took place in the past few months.

Terence Cini had received a suspended sentence in 2011, after threating a certain Francis Formosa with an unlicensed shotgun.

In 2013 he was accused of being in possession of cocaine and heroin, and received 16 months’ imprisonment.

As part of the proceedings, assets belonging to Cini had been frozen by the court. However, police still noticed certain property deals and cash movements, which raised suspicions that money was being funneled through his partner’s accounts.

The tip-off sparked the investigations leading to the €1 million find in Amanda Farrugia’s bank account.

Cini has also been charged with being in possession of an unlicensed firearm, as well as breaching bail conditions he had been granted against a personal guarantee.

The magistrate has ordered the freezing of the couple’s assets during the legal proceedings.

Police Inspector Lianne Bonello prosecuted while lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia appeared for the accused.

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