Ian Castaldi Paris will not contest general election after tax probe

'Time has come to prioritise my family’: Ian Castaldi Paris will not contest the coming general election but will remain an MP after it was revealed that he must pay €300,000 in tax dues and fines

Labour MP Ian Castaldi Paris must pay €300,000 in unpaid taxes and fines with reports suggesting the MP's unexplained wealth was estimated to be around €1 million

Updated at 2:57pm with statement from Ian Castaldi Paris

Labour MP Ian Castaldi Paris will not be contesting the next general election following reports that he must pay around €300,000 to the tax authorities.

Castaldi Paris announced his intentions on Monday, saying that the time has come for him to prioritise his family and friends.

Lil hinn minn stejjer sensazzjonali dwari, li huma minfuħa kif diġa’ spjegajt fi tweġibiet li ġew injorati, riċentament...

Posted by Ian Castaldi Paris on Monday, December 20, 2021

"In the coming months I will continue to represent my constituents. Although at the end of this legislature I will take a step back from public life, this does not mean that I will no longer do my part to support the Labor Party and move the country forward."

His statement comes after the Times of Malta revealed that an audit into the MP's financial affairs discovered close to €1 million in unexplained wealth, although Castaldi Paris said the matter concerned much smaller amounts.

MaltaToday has reached out to Castaldi Paris over the exact amount.

After months of talks with tax authorities, it seems that the MP must pay €300,000 in overdue taxes and fines.

A local bank raised a red flag on Castaldi Paris’s income around two years ago before he became an MP, in turn spurring an investigation by the Tax Compliance Unit.

The Labour MP had admitted to MaltaToday of having dreamed up a lofty claim he made to Fenech of being a high-flying property investor in London, after the newspaper approached him over chats he had with Fenech in September 2019. Fenech was arrested two months later in connection with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

READ ALSO: ‘It was all bluff’: Castaldi Paris bragged about fictitious £16 million London mansion to Yorgen Fenech

Castaldi Paris had said it was pure bluff from his end. He said he has no property, neither in London nor in any part of the world except Malta.

The chats revealed that Castaldi Paris, at the time not an MP, had known about the €3.1 million Mdina villa sold to Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech in September 2019, because he chatted to the businessman just days after signing on the promise-of-sale agreement.

Apart from admitting to MaltaToday that the chats were nothing but bluff, Castaldi Paris insisted that his parliamentary declaration of assets was correct. The MP said he owns two residential properties in Lija, two apartments in Santa Venera, and his office in Attard.

In October, when parliament reopened after the summer recess, government removed Castaldi Paris as one of its members on the Public Accounts Committee and replaced him with Jonathan Attard.

Earlier this year MaltaToday compiled a list of all MPs' asset declarations to find out who enjoys the highest net worth. 

In contrast to the alleged €1 million in undeclared wealth, Castaldi Paris reported having €18,200 worth of bank deposits, with no additional loans or shares.