Unemployed man spent €500,000 at casinos, court told

An unemployed man who gambled €500,000 in cash over the span of ten years at various casinos had been remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to money laundering charges

A police inspector said that over the span of 10 years, the man had gambled more than €500,000 in cash, mostly in the last five years
A police inspector said that over the span of 10 years, the man had gambled more than €500,000 in cash, mostly in the last five years

An unemployed man who gambled €500,000 in cash over the span of ten years at various casinos had been remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to money laundering charges. 

Patrick Gatt, 46, from Birkirkara, denied a number of charges related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. 

Magistrate Rachel Montebello was told how the police investigation had started last year after it received a tip-off about a man who was gambling substantial amounts of cash. The informant said the man was paying in cash at various casinos across the island. 

A police inspector said that over the span of 10 years, the man had gambled more than €500,000 in cash, mostly in the last five years.

The police investigations uncovered that Gatt was unemployed and only had one bank account with Bank of Valletta. This account, where the man's social security payments were being deposited, saw €20,000 in deposits and €19,000 in withdrawals over the last five years. 

Gatt did not reply to any questions asked by the court, opting to remain silent throughout except to enter a not guilty plea. 

He did not make a request for bail and was therefore remanded in custody. 

Magistrate Montebello upheld a request by the prosecution for the freezing of the man's assets. 

Police inspectors Pauline Bonello and Danilo Francalanza prosecuted.

Lawyers Arthur Azzopardi and Charmaine Cherret were defence counsel.

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