Maltese restaurant Scoglitti among list of companies hit by US fuel smuggling sanctions

Scoglitti restaurant is one of several companies that belong to former national team footballer Darren Debono hit by US sanctions linked to fuel smuggling from Libya • Sanctions list hits other Maltese individuals and vessels

Fahmi Slim Bin Khalifa (top), Darren Debono (bottom left) and Gordon Debono (bottom right)
Fahmi Slim Bin Khalifa (top), Darren Debono (bottom left) and Gordon Debono (bottom right)

Darren Debono and three other Maltese individuals are among a list of companies and individuals hit by a fresh round of sanctions by the US Treasury Department, aimed at blocking the illegal exportation of oil from Libya.

Debono, a former Maltese national team footballer, Gordon Debono, Rodrick Grech and Terence Micallef are among the list of six individuals, 24 companies and seven vessels in a move that prohibits Americans from engaging with those targeted and freezes any related property under US jurisdictions.

The sanctions target people from Libya, Malta and Egypt, the statement said.

Last October, Italian police arrested Darren Debono and Gordon Debono, both of whom were wanted on fuel smuggling charges.

According to a dossier complied by the Catanese prosecutor, Italian authorities had been investigating Darren Debono, and intercepting his phone-calls for two years, in a bid to dismantle what is believed to be a €30 million fuel smuggling ring.

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It is believed that Darren Debono used his fleet of fishing vessels to transport smuggled fuel out of Libya so that it could be sold in Italian ports.

Darren Debono formed part of a crime syndicate with Libyan smuggling kingpin Fahmi Bin Khalifa who was arrested in August by a Tripoli militia, and a Sicilian mafia associate, Nicola Orazio Romeo.

Another Maltese associate, Gordon Debono, was arrested in Catania on the heels of the police operation ‘Dirty Oil’.

A report by investigative journalist Anne Marlowe had initially shed light on the ring. The report prompted a United Nations probe into Debono’s actions and the movements of his ships between Malta and Libya.

Sanctions list by US Treasury

Individuals

  • Arafa, Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan Ahmed, 42, Egyptian/Maltese
  • Ben Khalifa, Fahmi (also known as ‘King of Zawarah’), 46, Libyan
  • Debono, Darren, 44, Maltese
  • Debono, Gordon, 43, Maltese
  • Grech, Rodrick, 36, Maltese
  • Micallef, Terence, 33, Maltese

Companies

  • ADJ Trading Ltd (ADJ Swordfish Ltd and ADJ Trading) – linked to Darren Debono, Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan and Fahmi Ben Khalifa
  • Andrea Martina Ltd – linked to Darren Debono
  • Eleven Eighty Eight Ltd (former Par Excellence Ltd) – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Gorge Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Hi-Low Properties Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Inovest Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • KB Investments Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • KB Lines Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Krakern Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Malta Directories Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Marie de Lourdes Co. Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Motorcycle Art Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Mr Handyman Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Oceano Blu Trading Ltd – linked to
  • OCEANO BLU TRADING LIMITED (former Pesca Mediterranea Ltd)
  • Petropark S.R.L. (Italian company) – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Petroplus Ltd (former Tiko Tiko Ltd) – linked to Gordon Debono
  • S-Cape Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • S-Cape Yacht Charter Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Scoglitti Restaurant – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Seabrass Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Tara Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • The Business Centre Ltd – linked to Gordon Debono
  • Tiuboda Oil and Gas Services (Libyan company)
  • World Water Fisheries (former Il-Brazzol) – linked to Darren Debono

Vessels

  • Bonu 5 – linked to Andrea Martina Ltd
  • Marie de Lourdes – linked to World Water Fisheries
  • Marie de Lourdes I – linked to World Water Fisheries
  • Marie de Lourdes V – linked to World Water Fisheries
  • Progres (Ozel 2) – linked to Andrea Martina Ltd
  • Theodoros – linked to ADJ Trading Ltd
  • Zeus – linked to Andrea Martina

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