Fast cars, boats, casino bets and thousands in cash transfers: the lavish life of the Degiorgio brothers

Unemployed and under the radar: how the criminal brothers charged with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia lived in luxury with nothing registered to their name

The Corvette CR7 owned by George Degiorgio 'ic-Ciniz' was registered in his partner's name
The Corvette CR7 owned by George Degiorgio 'ic-Ciniz' was registered in his partner's name

Details of the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio were laid bare in court this morning, as the compilation of evidence against them on money laundering charges began.

The Degiorgio brothers are charged, along with Vincent Muscat, in separate proceedings, with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Luxury cars, large cash payments and questionable overseas transfers were all featured in today's proceedings.

Brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, and George Degiorgio’s partner Anca Adelina Pop, were arraigned last month before Magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace, where they pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering.

The Degiorgio brothers are among 10 men arrested in connection with Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder, and two of three charged with executing the murder
The Degiorgio brothers are among 10 men arrested in connection with Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder, and two of three charged with executing the murder

READ MORE: Murder suspect George Degiorgio ‘ic-Ciniz’ was associate of 2016 car bomb victim and purchased property and boat off him

All three claimed to be unemployed, yet lived a far-from-penniless lifestyle, owning luxury cars and pleasure boats, although no immovable property.

Inspector Antonovitch Muscat told Magistrate Joe Mifsud today how the police had started investigating the suspects after the murder of Caruana Galizia. Police had received confidential information and saw news reports that indicated that the Degiorgio brothers were living a lifestyle incompatible with their means. They began investigating and also included Adelina Pop in the investigation.

Police enquired with banks Jobsplus, Transport Malta, social services, casinos, the Income Tax department and the land registry for assets and entries involving the accused.

George Degiorgio was found to hold a BOV account, which was inactive since 2005, a loan from HSBC for home furnishings with a pending balance of €1,700. The last loan repayment took place in 2014. Between May 2013 and October 2017, in just over four years, George Degiorgio transferred €25,000 outside Malta using Western Union. His partner, Pop did the same with around €17,000. Other large payments were made to third party individuals. Jobsplus reported that the last employment history of George Degriogio is in 1983 when he was a construction worker.

Transport Malta said that he owns an Audi A4 since 2016 as well as a Mistusbishi and a BMW. Degiorgio owned Ducu, a sea vessel, since 2003. The vessel was not registered until May 2017. He owns no immovable property and is not registered with the IRD for tax purposes and is not receinving any benefits or social security.

Adelina Pop held an account with Lombard Bank since 2016. She opened it as unemployed, said the inspector, but explained that the inward transactions are round figures of thousands in cash deposits. Since May she had made wire transfers of €38,000 and €35,000 to her mother.

She has owned a Corvette C7 since 2015 and an Audi Q7 since 2017 as well as a Mercedes Benz since April 2018. After the arraignments in December, the dealer asked for the Q7 back as there was a €25,000 outstanding debt and gave her the Mercedes she is currently driving. George’s Audi had previously been registered in her name. She is not registered with the IRD, owns no immovable property or companies and claims no benefits.

Pop’s lawyer David Gatt asked whether she had been working. She had held a part-time entertainer job in the past.

Alfred Degiorgio was well known with local casinos, said the inspector, having deposited some €350,000 in various casinos.

Degiorgio is unemployed and has no job history other than as a security guard at Black Bull bar in Paceville a long time ago. Alfred owned a Mercedes since 2017, a Kia Avella and a BMW. He had also owned the sea vessel Maya since 2017. Like the rest, he does not own any immovable property. He has also never filed a tax return and does not receive benefits or allowances from the department of social services, said the inspector.

None of the trio answered any questions during police interrogation.

Later on in the sitting, the former owner of the Maya told the court how George Degiorgio had bought the boat for €30,000 in cash. His landlord testified to say that he rented a St Paul’s Bay apartment to Alfred Degiorgio from August 2017 for €800 monthly. He would always pay cash, the landlord said.

The previous owner of the Corvette said he had sold the car to Omar Caruana, the owner of Zigumar in Bugibba, for €93,000.

The previous owner of one of the boats took the stand to say that he had sold it to an Adrian Agius, thought to be the owner of Mascar and one of the persons arrested in the aftermath of Caruana Galizia;s murder.

The court put the case off for bail submissions on 12 July.

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