2 Men & 5 Companies to Face Trial for €20 Million Money Laundering Case
A magistrate has found substantial evidence of two Libyan men and five companies involved in laundering upto €20 million. The accused men used the hawala money transfer system for their illicit crime.
Hesham Zayed, Essam Mohamed Edernawi are the owners of companies named P.H.F Ltd, U.G.T Company Ltd, Express Route Company Ltd, HZ Medical Equipment and Health Services Company Ltd, and H&H Investments Ltd. All of these companies are to face criminal proceedings over money laundering charges.
The two Libyans were arrested in an operation by the AML Squad of the police after an intelligence report was received in May 2020. Along with them, the team also arrested Khaled Baely and Hdidan Tamer Ramadan Ali.
The magistrate Gabriella Vella has rules that there is enough evidence to prosecute the accused, as they had declared zero income to the authorities and simultaneously deposited hundreds of thousands of euros in their bank accounts. Moreover, they had also registered 25 luxury cars in their names.
The police were previously tipped off by some Libyan nationals who had Maltese citizenship while declaring a large amount of cash at Malta International Airport’s customs.
Zayed and Edernawi were charged with money laundering, unlicensed banking, and involvement in criminal conspiracies. They were charged both in their personal capacity and on behalf of the companies they owned.
Zayed was described as the “leader of the criminal organization” and was charged separately for receiving stolen items and evading tax.
According to sources, the accused men pleaded not guilty. On Wednesday, Magistrate Vella declared in a decree that the court had sufficient evidence for prosecution.
The court said that other witnesses had already confirmed police inspector Keith Mallan’s testimony. Lastly, the court noted that Zayed, Edernawi, and their companies were clearly linked to the criminal operation where millions of euros were laundered.