Fourteen Enemalta clients charged with stealing €93,000 in electricity

Enemalta account holder handed suspended sentence after admitting to stealing electricity, 13 others plead not guilty to stealing a total of €93,000 worth of electricity

Fourteen Enemalta account holders who paid middlemen and former Enemalta employees in exchange for a tampered smart meter were today charged with allegedly stealing €93,000 worth of electricity.

The consumers had criminal charges instituted against them after they failed to regularise their position in exchange for an amnesty from court proceedings.

The accused are: Michael Darmanin, Robert Busuttil, Gordon Micallef, Sonia Cilia la Corte, Redent Zammit, Alan Cachia, Louis Attard, Jonathan Compagno, Josef Cassar, Joseph Gauci, Francis Xuereb, Mario Cassar, Lewis Caruana and Matthew Dimech.

Alan Cachia was the only accused to plead guilty to the charges.

Taking into account Cachia’s early admission, Magistrate Carol Peralta jailed him for two years suspended for two, and ordered him to pay Enemalta €400.

Cachia was also given a general interdiction.

Joseph Gauci was charged with stealing almost €19,849 in electricity for his shop in Main Street, Dingli while, Matthew Dimech was charged with stealing almost €5,649 worth of electricity at Cafe Du Brazil in Vittoriosa.

Moreover, Lewis Caruana, the owner of a rabbit farm in Zurrieq, was accused of stealing €3,300 of electricity while Michael Darmanin was charged with stealing €15,553 in electricity at his Old City Pub in Vittoriosa.

Louis Attard was charged with stealing over €845 worth of electricity at his residence in Triq Carmelo Dimech, Mosta after his smart meter allegedly under-registered by 61%.

Robert Busuttil was accused with stealing €17,156 worth of electricity at his grocery shop, Evergreen, in St Thomas Street, Floriana, while Gordon Micallef was charged with stealing some €11,000 in electricity at Gordon’s Discount Store in Qormi.

Moreover, Sonia Cilia La Corte – the former wife of a former Enemalta official who is charged of being a middleman – was charged with stealing €495 of electricity, ironically just months after she had complained that she was being overcharged, the court heard.

Francis Xuereb was charged with stealing almost €€470 in electricity at his residence in Santa Venera while Josef Cassar was charged with stealing €144 at his warehouse in Marsa.

Mario Cassar, a butcher, was charged with having a tampered meter at his butcher shop, Wasp Butcher, and at his residence, both in Fgura, allegedly stealing €4,752 and €2,174 respectively.

Redent Zammit was charged with stealing €3,781 at his business, Love Pizza in Fgura while Jonathan Compagno was charged with stealing over €7,300.

All smart meters were presented as evidence in court.

Lawyers Stephen Tonna Lowell, Shazoo Ghaznavi, Franco Galea, Patrick Valentino, Charmaine Cherrett, Kris Busietta, Edward Gatt, Daniela Mangion and Lucio Sciriha were defence counsel.

Inspectors Daniel and Roderick Zammit prosecuted. Lawyers Franco Debono and Angie Muscat appeared in parte civile for Enemalta.

The cases have been deferred to December.