Michel Rizzo suspends himself from Allied Group following money laundering charges

Allied Group said that it was 'immeasurably surprised' by the charges brought against Rizzo on Thursday

Allied Group Managing Director Michel Rizzo has suspended himself from the position as he faces charges of fraud and money laundering.

In a statement on Friday, Allied Group said that it was surprised by the decision taken to charge Rizzo and Progress Press, one of its companies. 

The charges are the result of an investigation into graft between former company officials Adrian Hillman and Vincent Buhagiar, and ex-OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.

"Allied Group stresses that it has cooperated fully with the magisterial inquiry into the ongoing graft allegations and steadfastly maintains that it has been a victim of dealings that took place behind the backs of both Progress Press and the directors of all its companies."

The Group said that it will continue cooperating with the authorities, and "looks forward to justice being served against the real perpetrators of crimes carried out to the detriment of the Company".

Rizzo and Allied Group's former financial controller Claude Licari were charged with money laundering and fraud on Thursday, as part of a sprawling police investigation following the conclusion of a magisterial inquiry.

They were granted bail and spared from having their personal assets frozen. However, the assets of Progress Press, the printing subsidiary of the Allied Group, were frozen. Investigations were led by the police's Financial Crimes Investigation Department.

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