Marsa murder | Police to investigate possible links with Palermo

Regular trips made to Palermo by murdered victim attract the attention of investigating officers.

Joseph Galea, 59 of Marsa, was father of five.
Joseph Galea, 59 of Marsa, was father of five.

The investigation into yesterday’s cold-blooded killing may lead investigating officers to look into a possible link with trips the victim used to make to Palermo, a Sicilian city known for its criminal organisations.

Joseph Galea, also known as Ġużi l-Ġilda, was found dead by his relatives early yesterday morning in the driver’s seat of his Kia Sorento. Between 17 and 20 shots are believed to have been fire from a .7.62 calibre assault rifle in the drive-by shooting.

The police are now looking for two men, who could also be professional hitmen.

MaltaToday has since learnt that Galea used to “travel regularly” to Palermo. His last trip was made on Saturday after leaving for Pozzallo to reach Palermo aboard the Jean de La Valette catamaran at 5am.

Sources said Galea could have arrived home on Monday morning, moments before he was shot. Another option not being excluded is that Galea – on Monday morning – may have planned another trip to Palermo. A possibility also exists that Galea may have not been alone in the car.

Sources who spoke to MaltaToday said Galea might have missed his return trip on Saturday, returning home on Monday. The catamaran service did not operate on Sunday.

Due to the inclement weather conditions, the catamaran’s return trip on Saturday was rescheduled to an earlier hour, leaving Pozzallo at 5pm instead of 8pm.

Given that passengers have to be at the port around 2 hours before the departure, this left Galea with only an hour in Palermo. The 340km drive from Pozzallo to Palermo takes a minimum of three hours and 30 minutes.

According to the sources, Galea’s “weekly” trips suggest that he had “criminal connections” in Palermo. Galea was known to Maltese police in connection with illegal gambling and usury.

Separate sources confirmed that Galea could have made a number of enemies over the years, especially since he “used to file false police reports against competitors”.

Galea had been convicted once over complicity in theft.

The Police are now looking for a silver Toyota Rav 4 or a car of a similar make. It has not been ruled out that a potential link exists between Galea’s murders and similar murders occurred over the past few years.

 

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Nothing was said about his full time job. I wonder if he was registering for work!