Rabat kidnap gang persons of interest in crypto-drug smuggling – reports

Car rental dealers implicated in Rabat abduction investigated over the use of cryptocurrency to smuggle drugs, arms and even explosives into the country

The car rental ‘kidnap gang’ implicated in the Rabat abduction of a victim whom they threatened to cut his finger, are being investigated over the use of cryptocurrency to smuggle drugs, arms and even explosives into the country.

Reports in The Times said the dark web purchases were made using crypto, with illicit funds laundered through a network of companies they own.

Christian Borg, 28, from Swieqi, Thorne Mangion, 27, from Qormi, Tyson Grech 26, from Isla, Burton Azzopardi, 20, from Bormla and Jeremy Borg, 20, from Qormi were arrested and charged after the abducted man escaped and told his story to the police.

Rabat abduction: who are the men behind a car hire business empire?

The victim recounted in court last Friday how he was beaten, threatened with having his fingers cut off, and having his sister raped.

The police are investigating the way car dealerships are being used to launder proceeds of drug trafficking, with Christian Borg and Thorne Mangion considered to be persons of interest in the investigation, along with associate Luke John Milton. 

In 2021, Milton was charged with fraudulently obtaining $700,000 from a car dealer and storing them in a crypto wallet. Before this incident Milton used to be the director of most companies, currently owned by Borg.

Milton is also co-accused with the other five of the Rabat abduction incident. He is yet to be charged, as he is currently in hospital.

According to the Times, the police are investigating whether Milton could have enlisted the help of Jomic Calleja, who in 2020 was charged with allegedly trying to import C-4 explosives and polonium, a radioactive toxin used as a poison.

The Polonium plot: how Jomic Calleja trawled dark web for explosives and radioactive poison