Second man charged over 2019 fake cash swindle

A Maltese jeweller was swindled out of €270,000 by a group of people using falsified banknotes

A second man has been charged over an incident in 2019 where a Maltese jeweller was swindled out of €270,000 worth of gold and jewels, which had been paid for with what turned out to be fake cash.

Inspectors Colin Sheldon and Shaun Friggieri, assisted by AG prosecutors Karl Muscat and Godwin Cini, charged Valentino Jovanovic, 29, a car dealer from France, with forming part of a group intending to commit a crime, conspiracy with persons outside Malta to commit a crime in Malta, knowingly using falsified banknotes, fraud and making fraudulent gains of over €5000.

He was brought to Malta on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant, after spending 3 months in the custody of the French authorities.

The man is the second to be arrested in connection with the crime – another Frenchman, Brindo Jovanovic, no relation to today’s accused, had been charged in January 2021.

When Valentino Jovanovic was arraigned before magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit this morning, his lawyer, Daniel Attard, entered an emphatic not guilty plea.

Parte civile lawyer Franco Debono informed the court that his clients were still out of pocket. Attard replied by pointing out that the man had just denied the charges.

A freezing order was imposed. Bail was not requested.