[WATCH] Libyan arrests in Malta were €20 million money laundering bust

Europol assists Malta authorities in investigation of organised crime group in €20 million money laundering operation

Still from video of Operation Nomad
Still from video of Operation Nomad

Europol has assisted the Maltese police in investigating an organised crime group suspected of having laundered over €20 million through Malta.

Other foreign jurisdictions were partners in the investigation.

A total of 7 suspects of Libyan and Maltese origin were arrested across the Maltese islands on 29 November for their involvement in this money-laundering scheme.

The suspects are believed to have laundered millions in illicit funds through five Maltese companies which the criminal group controlled.

The funds were for the most part sent to Turkey using both cash couriers and the informal hawala money transfer system. The investigation is ongoing to identify the origin of these ill-acquired funds, believed to be linked with tax evasion and other criminal offences.

On the occasion of the action day, some €70,000 in cash was seized, alongside a considerable amount of jewellery, branded clothing and watches, luxurious vehicles, foreign number plates and electronic equipment with an approximate value of €5 million.

Europol’s European Financial and Economic Crime Centre (EFECC) supported the investigation since June 2020, providing continuous analysis to support the Maltese investigators in developing the intelligence on this criminal group.

During the action day, Europol deployed a specialist to Malta to support the investigators with real-time cross-checks and document analysis.