Libya-Italy fuel smuggling: Italian newspaper claims ministry officials handled documentation | News Malta – All Maltese & English news in one place

Individuals high up in the Maltese Foreign Affairs Ministry facilitated the smuggling of fuel between Libya and Italy, an Italian newspaper has reported.

Sole 24, an influential Italian newspaper links the Maltese government in what is now being described as the ‘contamination’ of the fuel market in Italy and Europe. It appears that the latest details are included in the investigation being led by the Guardia di Finanza in Catania.

The newspaper is says the findings of the inquiry will “confirm the presumed corruption by the Maltese politicians.” It also mentions that slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia often wrote about corruption in her blog.

Only days after the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Rai News 24 programme spoke of possible links between her murder and the Libyan oil smuggling operations. Rainews said that out of the various possible leads which could explain the motive behind Caruana Galizia’s murder, oil smuggling reports are deemed as “the most credible”.

The courts in Catania are conducting an inquiry dubbed “Dirty Oil” which is looking into the involvement of Italian nationals and citizens from other countries, including Malta, in the oil trafficking business between Libya and the Southern parts of the Mediterranean.

The inquiry is targeting what is being dubbed as “an association of criminals” made up of individuals from Italy, Libya and Malta. The “dirty oil” allegedly derives from Zuwara, a city 100 kilometres away from Tripoli.

Il Sole reports how further investigation resulted in the discovery of illegal documents which were purposefully set up to allow the fuel smuggling to occur. Through this new link in the inquiry, the authorities discovered the names of “influential individuals at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

It is also being reported that on one particular occasion, Darren Debono participated in a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 29 Januray 2016. Debono was recently apprehended by the Catania police as prosecutors are accusing him of fuel smuggling.

Further investigations revealed that the Legislation Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs used to sign of the necessary documentation to “legalise” the smuggled oil. These papers carried the signature with the initials K.M.

The Guarda di Finanza was reported as saying that this complex stratagem shows the criminal group’s ability to produce documents by taking advantage of the complicity by the Maltese.

The Malta Independent has sent questions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. By the time this article was published, the questions remained unanswered.

In a statement this morning, the ministry said that an internal investigation has been launched.

Original article found on The Malta Independent