Police arraign former Enemalta official over oil trader’s gift of silver plate

Former Enemalta petroleum division official pleaded not guilty to corruption, fraud and trading in influence, when charged this afternoon in connection to the oil scandal.

A former Enemalta official who was gifted with a silver plate by oil trader George Farrugia (pictured) has been arraigned in court.
A former Enemalta official who was gifted with a silver plate by oil trader George Farrugia (pictured) has been arraigned in court.

Raymond Ferris, 51, an unemployed resident of Sliema, was charged before Magistrate Antonio Micallef Trigona today for having accepted a silver plate from oil trader George Farrugia, who turned State's evidence on commissions paid by Trafigura to a former Enemalta consultant, for the supply of oil to Enemalta.

The prosecution, led by Superintendent Paul Vassallo and Inspector Angelo Gafà from the Economic Crimes Uniti (ECU), did not ask for a freeze on Ferris assets.

Ferris - Enemalta's former chief project officer - was assisted by lawyers Kenneth Grima and Veronique Dalli, and pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him. The defence team claimed that Ferris's position at Enemalta was abolished some years ago, and has since been seeking a job in a similar position.

While Police stressed that the accused had been paid a golden handshake of €64,000 on termination of his post due to managerial restructuring, defence lawyers stressed that Ferris was currently living on social benefits while also supporting a daughter who studying overseas. His lawyers asked for a reasonable deposit and personal guarantee for bail.

According to the lawyers, Ferris is being accused of having received a silver plate as a gift when occupying his post.

Police insisted on bail that reflected the seriousness of the charges.

Magistrate Antonio Micallef Trigona decided to grant Ferris bail against a deposit of €3,000  and a personal guarantee of €50,000.

Ferris is the seventh person to be charged in connection to the commissions for oil scandal, which was revealed by MaltaToday on January 27.

Former Enemalta chairman Tancred Tabone 60 of Sliema, and his one-time consultant Frank Sammut 62 of Marsaxlokk, were charged last week for corruption, trading in influence and money laundering. Two businessmen, Francis Portelli, 62 of Ta' Xbiex and Anthony Cassar, 62 of Tarxien were subsequently charged with having concealed Tabone and Sammut's conflict of interest in competing company Island Bunker Oils Limited (IBOL).

Meanwhile, police this week also charged Enemalta's former chief financial officer Tarcisio Mifsud 68, of Zebbug and a former Petroleum Division Head Alfred Mallia, 68 of Qormi with having allegedly received illicit commissions while occupying their posts at the State-owned utility provider.

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The commentators here are prejudiced. There is a big difference between a plate and a clock!!!
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idħak sieħbi ghax għandek biex!! Il-poplu jħallas il-kontijiet m'għola s-sema u inthom titfgħu ġo butkom. Min jisraq ma jgawdix....suppost!!!! Nafu nibilawha li iċċappastu biss ghal sempliċi arlogg tal-lira, u plattin tal-fidda. Ħalluna ngħixu. Fid-9 ta' Marzu araw kif tagħmlu w erġu tellgħu lil gonżipn. Futur fis-sod..għalihom.
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Mr WrathMan2 a very excellent description of our Maltese society. Unfortunately some are still gullible as ever and they only believe what the Party leaders tell them to believe. These high class and trusted people are taking us for a ride and we don't even know it. Just wait until after the election when the real oil start surfacing and hopefully the real truth(which I doubt) starts to come out in the open. And why on earth shall we believe Mr Farrugia and not take him for face value? Since Mr Farrugia has nothing to lose since he already managed to get a Presidential pardon from the PM. I have the distinct feeling that the real truth will never come out because it is impossible to protect the chickens when you put the fox in charge of the chicken coop. What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. This man has no conscience because if he did, he would not have done what he did. Why is the government so intent about burning the little fish while letting the big fish go, it does not make sense. Maybe this saga should be called "The clock and the silver platter".
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Veru pajjiz tal-Micky Mouse biex gie arrestat ghax ircieva platt tal-fidda ghax hu huta zejra, imma il-huta kbira ma gietx arrestata ghax irciviet arlogg tal-lira li jiswa ferm aktar min platt tal-fidda.
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Ahna irridu nkunu nafu liema brimba nizget l-ghaqnbuta: mhux id-dubbien u l-insetti l-ohra zghar li wehlu go fiha! Kulhadd hati barra tal-klikka ta gewwa? Kif jista ikun li bicca mega korruzzjoni bhal din hadd mhu responsabli u hadd ma kien jaf li qed issir? Anke bicca loghba tal- football jaqbdu minn kien il-brimba : f'dan il-kaz le Alla ibierek! Do we deserve such humiliation?
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If they charged this chap with corruption over a mere silver plate, then what should they do with all the Civil service and Government officials (all of them, from Assistant Director to the very top of officialdom) that receive copious numbers of very costly (depending on your grade or level of "help") of XMAS hampers? All the tax inspectors/Police/ whoever need to do is requisition the delivery lists of popular suppliers and the cat's in the bag. WHEN ARE THE BIG GUYS GOING TO BE CHARGED?
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I am baffled that the accused was granted bail against a deposit of EUR3000 and a personal guarantee of EUR50,000 just for being bribed with a silver plate gift. What is going on here??? I hope that the police have more tangible evidence than what is being stated by Mr Farrugia. I truly believe that if George Farrugia is going to continue taking us for a ride, his presidential pardon should be reversed. He seems to be a person with no integrity.
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I am baffled that the accused was granted bail against a deposit of EUR3000 and a personal guarantee of EUR50,000 just for being bribed with a silver plate gift. What is going on here??? I hope that the police have more tangible evidence than what is being stated by Mr Farrugia. I truly believe that if George Farrugia is going to continue taking us for a ride, his presidential pardon should be reversed. He seems to be a person with no integrity.
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maria aquilina
Din l-affari issa kierga minn kull sens ta' decenza ta' gustizzja. Mela minn ikkorrompa istituzzjoni shiha ghax bniedem tan-negozju se jinhafirlu kollox u l-hatja se jibqghu biss dawk li gew mixtrija. Is-sors jew il-bidu tal-korruzzjoni ha l-mahfra u li ma jidhirx li se jhallas lura il-qligh li ghamel b'qerq mill-korruzzjoni. Mela nehilsu lix-xitan u nitfghu l-habs lil mindibbbin biss...ekk sewwa. Minn jaf li kieku dawk li gew korrotti jinghaqdu (u mhux kulhadd ghal rasu) u jibdew kawza kongunta kontra minn ikkorrompihom. Din tkun separata minn din il-kawza li maghha hemm marbuta l-mahfra.
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Imma b'kumbinazzjoni , l-arlogg lill-ministru suppost li tathulu l-mara ta' hu George Farrugia. Issa jekk "tghatulu" tfissirx li pprezentatulu l-mara li hadmitu ghan-nom ta'haddiehor, ma nafx !
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There has to be more than a silver plate and golden handshake to land a person in jail the police need to investigate since all the inormation was handed to them by diligent journalism and this was also done on a silver plate to avoid any excessive work on their part.
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Vera taht GonziPN sirna pajjiz tat-tielet dinja f'dak li ghadnu x'jaqsam sleaze! Pajjiz tal-kumbinazjonijiet u interpretazzjonijiet tal-ligi fejn jidhlu l-ministri u id-dixxipli ta GonziPN u applikazzjoni tal-ligi fejn jidhlu l-ohrajn! Mela kull ministru li ircieva hamper bi b'kaxxa inbid pomarol li tiswa 1000 euro dan ma haqqux jigi imtella l-qorti?
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Paul Sammut
The pardon is starting to look like a smoke screen or a diversion.
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FEJN HI IL HUTA IL KBIRA? MAKKU BISS QED JINQABAD.
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Allajbierek this country, self employed people work hard to sustain a decent living while being tied through the nose, and Gov dishing out GOLDEN HANDSHAKES as if there was no tomorrow! Kulhadd galantom bi flus il poplu. Who gives self employed a golden handshake when their business goes bust?
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Jien ninsab imhawwad ghaliex dan l individwu sab ruhu arrestat u tela l qorti ghaliex accetta platt tal fidda allura bl istess argument ,min accetta arlogg tal lira dan ghamel sew??????
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What is the difference between receiving a silver plate and receiving a Malta clock? I am assuming that the same person was present on both occasions. Let us not forget that Dr. Gonzi immediately accepted a case of circumstantial evidence in the case of the ex EU Commissioner who never received anything, but has not accepted at least circumstantial evidence in the case of the Minister who accepted gifts on more than one occasion.
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anna calleja
The 400,000 inhabitants of this Republic do not realize how blessed and privileged we truly are by just being MALTESE. We are the beneficiaries of a fair number of super-efficient government authorities, all and without any exception whatsoever, beyond the pale of corruption and, to boot, headed by a humble, sweet and user friendly cabinet member. We are fortunate to have a transparent and judicious police force, backed by a superlative judicious Justice System both of which august institutions, take consistently balanced and fair decisions leaving all previously aggrieved parties hollering with happiness. This excellent performance impels me to ask the administration to make these institutions’ chief actors sit for an IQ test to show one and all how exclusive and superior such actors are, thus the common citizen could curtsey when they come across any of them. I applaud cabinet decisions, such as giving criminals a Presidential pardon, so that they turn in the audacious small fry who dare to be bribed with silver plates while in Government employ. You see the subtle thinking behind such moves is that if a few small fry get clobbered in court, the heavyweight fraudster, the one that makes millions by dubious means, the one with the thick skin, will one day shit in his pants and reforms himself. But very few common citizens understand such moves; you have to have a super brain to understand these maneuvers. Comrades, sit back and enjoy live, be happy and shut your trap lest one of these super beings decides to throw the book at you for looking the wrong way. Halleluiah .. Halleluiah.. Halleluiah WE ARE INDEED GRATEFUL.
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Il-mahfra (pardon) inghatat biex inressqu persuna ghax ircieva platt tal-fidda jew biex naraw min kienu il-vera sharks ? Ejja ma naqghux ghar-redikolu issa ta! Min hataf il-miljuni ? Jekk il-puilzija ressqet lil din il-persuna il-qorti fuq platt, mhux se tressaq politici fuq arloggi u xogholijiet id-dar ? Mela politiku mhux ufficjal pubbliku ??? M'ahniex impressjonati sa issa bin-nies li tressqu ?
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The more I read, the more I confirm how corrupt this country is. How is it with a 64000 euro handshake he was entitled for social assistance, and myself because I was self employed and had 23000 euro was not entitled to one single cent. I will def ask for a clarification regarding this matter.
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So receiving a silver plate is an offense but receiving a hand-made Maltese clock from the same person is not. What country are we living in?
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For receiving the gift of a silver plate you end up in Court charged with corruption. What happens if you receive a clock delivered to your own home? Is this justice for ALL or justice for SOME? If you have notification of corruption in 2011 and you do nothing about it, is that not aiding and abetting corruption and further that of taking no action when you know that a crime has been committed and therefore judged to be obstructing the course of justice? ALBERT FENECH Qawra
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Since George Farrugia, and his brother were trading as partners, and since debts and profits, once you are married are shared equally with your wife, than any gifts given from a wife because She fans you, are or are not 'Corruption'? I need some technical expert in law to explain these daily mystries!
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Paul Sammut
Is this why the pardon was given, to be told who got a silver plate? One would have believed that the kickbacks amount to much more.
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A clock - a silver plate. What will be next? A teaspoon? The real "crime" here is a golden handshake of EUR 64,000. At the last election Gonzi said we had to stop the mentality that some people are owed a living by the government. It seems Enemalta didn't get the memo.
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Did this silver gift cost more than 5000 euros? And was it given because Farrugia admired Mr Ferris? And did Mr Ferris forget that he had met George Farrugia like Tonio Fenech and later admit that he did? Questions, questions, questions.
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Whys such a fuss about a silver plate? Maybe Farrugia's wife or one of his in-laws or cousins made it as a hobby. Don't you people appreciate art? What have you got against wall-clocks and plates? Grow up and show some culture.
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The more I see George Farrugia's smiling face the more I want to punch him it in for him. Here he is about to go scot-free after years of seducing employees of Enemalta for his own greed while others have their comeuppance. And more than ever, I feel that before offering him a pardon the police ought to have been ALLOWED to call to a conference all the employees of Enemalta who over the years might have been seduced into some scheme by their bosses and their friends to explain them that the government is offering protection to those who wish to speak up and that it would be in the interest of anyone of them who knew of corruption to avail himself of the offer. Instead the great corrupter will walk free in the same that Zeppi il-Hafi walked free from several heinous crimes and potentially the attempted murder of Richard almighty Cachia Caruana.
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If this person has been arraigned for having received a silver plate, why has the Minister not been arraigned for taking a gift that is decorated with gold-leaf?
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about time ....issa qed jistenew id 9 ta marzu jghadi imbad hokk xaghrek u sib iz zejt f buthom....shame on pn ..we are democratic??
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"Raymond Ferris.... was charged....for having accepted a silver plate from oil trader George Farrugia" Did not the Hon. Tonio Fenech admit that he had been given a clock as a gift? Why was not the Hon. Minister also brought to court. Ah yes....I forgot....it is always two ways two measure for the blue eyed boys.
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that's for a silver plate....what about a CLOCK m'ghand tal-Lira..
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What's the big deal? Mr.George Farrugia admired Mr.Ferris. A silver plate does not have a value anywhere near Eur.5000 Abeit, Mr.Ferris was a 'cuc Malti' Enemalta officer, and not a national Minister of Finance, and possibly also not blessed with divine visions!