He called himself Lilu King: cash, cars and cocaine

Mohamed Ali Ahmed Elmushraty, together with two others, was charged last Friday with money laundering, tax evasion and participation in organised crime

Mohamed Ali Ahmed Elmushraty was charged last Friday with money laundering, tax evasion and participation in organised crime.
Mohamed Ali Ahmed Elmushraty was charged last Friday with money laundering, tax evasion and participation in organised crime.

Mohamed Ali Ahmed Elmushraty, together with two others, was charged last Friday with money laundering, tax evasion and participation in organised crime. He also faced other charges relating to breaching bail conditions and unlicensed driving. 

Elmushraty’s arrest and arraignment may seem like an ordinary arraignment following a police drug bust but this is no ordinary individual. The three men pleaded not guilty and were remanded in custody by the magistrate. 

Dubbing himself ‘the King of Paceville’, Elmushraty boasts an impressive 19,000 followers on Instagram alone as he constantly flaunts his flamboyant lifestyle. Not one to hide from the public eye, Elmushraty’s social media profile provides an insight into his expensive lifestyle. 

In court, Elmushraty said he lived in Bugibba and Portomaso. 

Piles of cash and luxury cars 

On his Instagram profile, Elmushraty describes himself as an entrepreneur, boxer, businessman, artist, events organiser and car lover.  

He regularly posts photos flaunting his wealth, including designer clothes and luxury cars.  

A photo posted to his Instagram account in October 2021, shows him wearing a Versace robe, as he is sat next to a table with stacks of cash, including €100 and €50 notes. At least 10 stacks of €50 notes, and six stacks of €20 notes can be seen on the table. 

Elmushraty also regularly posts photos posing next to his Mercedes-Benz AMG G63. The 2022 model goes for around $180,000, but most vehicles go for considerably higher than that due to the number of customization options available. 

He has also posted photos next to his black Range Rover, with the custom number plate ‘Lilu King’.  

Last Friday, the court was told Elmushraty drove several luxury cars including a Mercedes G Wagon, a Mercedes 350, a Range Rover, a BMW X6, and a Mercedes C-Class. These vehicles were seized. None of them were registered in his name. 

Apart from luxury cars, his Instagram profile also shows him flaunting his wealth on luxury boats, posting photos of him and his family on boat trips aboard high-end cabin cruisers.  

Known to frequent the Paceville area, Mohammed Elmushraty is seen at the locality’s top-end hotels, regularly spending nights at the Hilton and Hugo’s Hotel. 

From Armani to Versace 

Not one to spend his hard-earned cash on cheap clothes, Elmushraty has a dedicated Instagram story to boast about his designer clothes purchases. 

From Philip Plein to Armani, Versace and Louis Vuitton, he has bought it all, and was not afraid to show his followers that his purchases, which regularly are worth thousands, were paid in cash.  

Despite police suspicions, going abroad was no issue for him, with photos of his Amsterdam trip posted to his profile just this week.  

A scroll through his profile shows he has also been to Milan, Paris, Winterberg and Belgium in the past year alone. Last January he posted a photo with pop-music superstar Jason Derulo in Milan. 

Wanted in Libya 

Libyan authorities had long been asking their Maltese counterparts to do something about Elmushraty, who was a person of interest in a Libyan investigation into drug trafficking. 

Sources in the intelligence community said the Libyan authorities had been “pleading with the Maltese authorities to do something about him for years”. 

Elmushraty is believed to have come to Malta in 2012 and during his time here never attempted to hide his suspicious wealth. 

“The Libyans even started suspecting that he had some big fish backing him in Malta, given Lilu’s openness about his lavish lifestyle,” the sources said. 

Samurai swords and illegal tobacco 

Last Friday’s charges were not Elmushraty’s first time at the law courts, having been charged with several offences in the past.  

He had been arrested at the Malta International Airport in November 2016, shortly after his arrival on a flight from Tunis, after customs found 30kg of undeclared water-pipe (shisha) tobacco, hidden inside sealed containers of Nadhif washing powder. 

He is also accused of the attempted homicide of three nightclub bouncers whom he attacked with a Samurai sword in May 2016. 

After that incident, Elmushraty had initially fled the country but was arrested again in Malta in connection with an armed robbery the following October. Last year, he had been accused, together another man, of grievously injuring two other men in yet another Paceville incident involving a Samurai sword. 

Last May, Elmushraty was granted bail after being charged with causing grievous injuries to another man during a fight at Sliema’s Medasia Playa. 

In the most recent case, Elmushraty’s lawyers argued their client was not charged with drug trafficking, insisting the predicate offence for money laundering was inexistent. “All we are left is a simple fiscal issue,” his lawyers said. 

But prosecutors were not impressed, insisting Elmushraty’s predicate offence was his association with a criminal organisation that trafficked drugs and laundered money. 

The prosecuting inspector said that in the three-month surveillance operation which preceded the arrest, Elmushraty had featured prominently in drug trafficking circles and spent money which had not been declared to the Maltese authorities. 

The case continues. 

Additional reporting by Kurt Sansone and Matthew Agius