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Maltese casino owner arrested in journalist murder case

By Owain Flanders

Maltese casino owner Yorgen Fenech has been arrested in connection with the murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In 2017, Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb, resulting in the arrests of three men charged with triggering the bomb.

However, due to the anti-corruption nature of Caruana Galizia’s journalism, it is suspected others were involved in the murder, with alleged possible ties to mafia operations in the country.

This week, protesters gathered outside parliament in Valetta demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, after he said he would consider a pardon for the alleged middle man in the case, now known to be Fenech.

Fenech is the former director of energy generating company Electrogas and former CEO of the Tumas Group, owner of the Portomaso Casino, Hilton Malta and the Dolmen Resort Hotel.

The businessman resigned from the two positions earlier this week after being named "a person of interest in the case."

His yacht has since been searched while he was detained by armed police.

Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit also identified Fenech as the owner of a Dubai-registered company called 17 Black.

Earlier this year, the Council of Europe reported 17 Black made large monthly payments to secret Panama companies owned by senior Maltese officials, while receiving large sums of money from an Azerbaijani national.

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