Middleman’s relatives accused of money laundering and illegal lottery

Melvin Theuma’s partner, the intermediary in the Caruana Galizia assassination turned state evidence, should be charged with money laundering offenses directly related to Theuma’s criminal activity.

MaltaToday understands that the charges relate to Theuma’s own criminal career, which includes organizing an illegal lottery that has brought him hundreds of thousands, if not millions, over the course of his criminal career.

In a forensic investigation compiled by Gabriella Vella, Theuma’s partner Charmaine Zammit, 42 from Zurrieq, her daughter Shianne Zammit, 26, and her partner Ryan Farrugia, 26, from Qormi, were referred on money laundering charges silver. They must appear before magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberass, according to police sources.

Investigators said they found more than 2 million euros in cash stashed at his home when Theuma was arrested in November 2019.

Despite running a lucrative taxi rank in the Portomaso complex, Theuma acted as the personal representative of alleged mastermind Yorgen Fenech. Theuma also ran the Malta ‘parallel lotto’ – with tickets, in which pundits had a chance to win big money – which is pegged to the national lotto, with players placing bets on a string of numbers and waiting. the winning national lottery numbers to be announced at the end of each week.

Now the money laundering investigations have reached his partner and daughter, as well as the latter’s partner, Ryan Farrugia, a partner of Farbros Construction.

Theuma himself was also pardoned for what could have been his indirect role in the 2010 HSBC bank robbery, which allegedly turned one of his properties into a safe haven for men involved in the police shooting.

Theuma obtained a presidential pardon from the Muscat administration in December 2019, after being arrested in a money laundering raid that had been brewing for months. Theuma was aware of his impending arrest, claiming in conversations he recorded on his phone that it was a ruse to appease Europol investigators after his name was mentioned to police by the ‘one of the triggers, Vincent Muscat’ il-Koħħu ‘.

Muscat had already identified Theuma in early April 2018 during conversations with the police in an attempt to obtain a pardon for his role in the assassination.

According to Theuma’s records, the police – then led by Lawrence Cutajar as police commissioner, who were in contact with Theuma’s longtime associate, Edgar Brincat ‘il-Ġojja’ – were planning a raid on his property. But Theuma knew weeks in advance that the arrest would never lead to prosecution and that the investigations would take a turn.

Yorgen Fenech, who Theuma said hired him to search for the Degiorgio brothers to strike a blow at Daphne Caruana Galizia, claimed in his statement to police in 2019 that even former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his chief of staff Keith Schembri, were aware of Theuma’s phone records.

Fenech’s categorical insistence in his statements to police after being denied two pardon requests was that Muscat knew Theuma had “blabbed” on his cell phone tapes. Fenech has repeatedly claimed that Joseph Muscat asked if they involved Keith Schembri. Muscat has already denied this claim.

“I don’t know if he knew it before, but he knew it afterwards for sure. The Prime Minister in January of this year [2019] asked me in Castile… there was Keith. He asked me what was going on because he was worried about Melvin Theuma, and he asked me if I trusted him and I said ‘no’, ”Fenech had told police.

Fenech also told police that Muscat had mentioned that Theuma should be raided by police due to pressure from abroad. Muscat has previously denied knowing about the raids on Theuma that took place in November 2019 when he was arrested and the tapes were discovered.

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