Bail conditions tightened on couple charged with money laundering, after AG's appeal

Clint Vella and Sylvana Fenech stand charged with money laundering after a police investigation found them to have made large monthly bank deposits and bought property despite their small income.

The couple were found to be depositing over €11,000 every month
The couple were found to be depositing over €11,000 every month

The Criminal Court has turned down a request by the Attorney General to revoke bail granted to a couple charged with money laundering, but has imposed harsher conditions.

The AG had appealed a decree by Magistrate Victor Axiaq, in which Clint Vella and Sylvana Fenech, both 24 from Mosta were released from arrest.

The couple were first investigated by the police after it was noted that the couple were living well in excess of their means, buying property and making large cash deposits despite their meagre employment. Fenech worked as a hairdresser, while Vella worked as an unlicensed driving instructor. They had made bank deposits in excess of €90,000, with Fenech depositing around €11,000 every month.

They were charged with offences relating to money laundering and tax evasion earlier this month. Bail was originally granted against a deposit of €2,000 and a personal guarantee of €20,000, but the Attorney General had filed an appeal from that decree, arguing that evidence could be tampered with.

In a decision handed down by Mr. Justice Aaron Bugeja, presiding the Criminal Court, the request for the revocation of bail was rejected. However, the judge amended the bail conditions to make them more onerous, more than doubling the deposit to €5,000 and imposing a curfew.

Lawyers Franco Debono, Marion Camilleri and Francesca Zarb appeared for the defendants.
Inspectors Claire Borg, Keith Mallan, Danilo Francalanza prosecuted together with lawyer Andrea Zammit for the Attorney General’s office.