Keith Schembri’s asset freeze extended

A second attachment order has added 10 more entities to the freezing order imposed on Keith Schembri and his accountants

Keith Schembri is the subject of a police investigation into money laundering and kickbacks
Keith Schembri is the subject of a police investigation into money laundering and kickbacks

Nine companies and one individual connected to Keith Schembri have been added to an asset freeze imposed by the court on the former prime minister’s chief of staff.

They were not included in the first court order issued on Monday that froze the assets of 41 companies and 41 individuals who had links with Schembri and his accountants, Brian Tonna and Karl Cini.

The new attachment order means that 92 companies and individuals have had their moveable and immoveable assets frozen. Financial institutions, banks, asset managers and public institutions of note have been ordered to grant police access to information and documents pertaining to the effected companies and individuals.

The attachment order was issued by Judge Edwina Grima at the request of Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg.

Schembri, Tonna and Cini were arrested on Tuesday by the police and interrogated at length over allegations of money laundering and bribery linked to the sale of Maltese citizenship.

The police investigation was prompted by the conclusion of a magisterial inquiry a few weeks ago that probed the allegations first made in April 2017.

Schembri is said to have received €100,000 from Tonna’s sale of citizenship to a Russian family. The two have denied wrongdoing and Schembri claimed the money was repayment of a personal loan he had given Tonna a few years earlier.

The inquiry had been requested by then Opposition leader Simon Busuttil, who based the allegations on a leaked FIAU report that flagged suspicions of money laundering.

More in National