Oil procurement scandal: Two more businessmen being arraigned today
The police are today expected to arraign Cassar Ship Repair chairman Tony Cassar and Francis Portelli, of Virtu Ferries, in connection with the Enemalta oil procurement scandal.
The men are expected to face criminal charges in relation to their involvement in the oil storage company Island Bunker Oils, and several other maritime and bunkering interests which they co-owned with former Enemalta Chairman Tancred Tabone.
Along with the original allegations of kickbacks on oil tenders to Dutch oil giant Trafigura, the police also investigated the role played by Island Bunker Oils, and several subsidiary companies, which handled the lion’s share of the bunkering business previously belonging to the state-owned Mediterranean Offshore Bunkering Company (MOBC).
Mr Tabone, 60, was arraigned and charged bribery and money laundering on Tuesday, along with 62-year-old petrochemist Frank Sammut, who, at one point was also involved with Island Bunker Oils.
The men were granted bail against a deposit of €3,000 and a personal guarantee of €15,000 in their arraignment hearing on Tuesday. However, the Attorney General filed an appeal yesterday, asking for the bail to be revoked.
The prosecution had argued against the bail during Tuesday’s sitting, particularly that of Mr Tabone, who prosecutors said, did not cooperate with the investigation.
Mr Sammut on the other hand had helped the police with information on third parties, Police inspector Angelo Gafá had said.
The investigation was led by the head of the Economic Crimes Unit, Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Cassar together with Superintendent Paul Vassallo and Inspector Angelo Gafá.