Frank Sammut’s accountant says books showed nothing on fuel contracts

Oil scandal compilation of evidence: MOBC chairman’s accountant Ray Stafrace says he kept ledgers of three companies belonging to Sammut but never saw items related to fuel procurement

Frank Sammut
Frank Sammut

Ray Stafrace, the accountant for the former MOBC chief executive Frank Sammut, told a court in the compilation of evidence against Sammut on charges of bribery that he never encountered items related to fuel procurement in the accused’s books.

Sammut is charged, together with former Enemalta chairman Tancred Tabone, of corruption and money laundering for having taken bribes from oil trader George Farrugia, for the award of oil supply contracts from Enemalta to Trafigura and Total.

Taking the witness stand, Stafrace said he worked as an accountant for Transport Malta but also did freelance work. He confirmed the statement he had released to inspector Angelo Gafà describing how he had also kept the MOBC ledgers between 1988 and 1991. “This was a long time ago and Sammut had three companies, while he was chairman of MOBC. He used to carry out insurance and consultancy work with companies, both locally and abroad, related to fuel oils. However I never kept books relating to fuel procurement,” he said.

Another witness, Palm Shipping director Frederick Frendo, told the court that he was one of the directors of Island Bunkering Oils Ltd – the company once owned by Sammut, Tabone and two others charged in court on similar accusations, Francis Portelli and Anthony Cassar.

“My job entailed requesting quotes on bunkering and forwarding them to foreign companies. Of course there was a mark-up on the quotes,” he said. Palm Shipping and IBOL have their offices in the same building.

Frendo said he purchased shares in the company that previously belonged to Anthony Cassar, through his company Anchor Oils Ltd. Frank Sammut had already left the company by then.

The case was put off for the 27 March. Inspector Jonathan Ferris is prosecuting, while lawyer Joseph Giglio is representing the accused.