Charged with fraud after faking cancellation of hypothec

The accused allegedly conned a notary into waiving a hypothec on a property he was planning to sell

A self-proclaimed missionary has been arraigned on fraud charges after allegedly conning a notary into waiving a hypothec on a property he was going to sell.

Ian Camilleri, 50, from Sliema was charged with fraud, fraudulent gain, making a false declaration to a public authority and relapsing after he allegedly sold a property, by faking a letter in a creditor’s name claiming that the creditor’s hypothec on the property in question had been cancelled.

Camilleri who, when asked his occupation, replied “missionary in Africa,” pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyer, Gianluca Caruana Curran, requested bail.

Inspector Rennie Stivala, prosecuting, did not object to the bail request as the accused had cooperated with the investigation and had been on police bail. He voiced concern that the accused could try to flee the country, leading Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo to order the man deposit his passport and ID card in court.

Caruana Curran argued in favour of lenient bail conditions, pointing out that the man worked as a missionary and therefore had no income.

The court granted Camilleri bail against a personal guarantee of €10,000, ordering him to sign a bail book twice weekly and prohibiting him from leaving the Maltese islands.