VIDEO: Keith Schembri’s wife charged with money laundering – released on bail
Josette Schembri Vella, Keith Schembri’s wife, pleaded not guilty to money laundering when, as representative of a company suspected by the Police of having received transferred money, she was arraigned before Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit.
When asked about her work, 45-year-old Schembri Vella, who lives in Mellieħa, replied that she works as an interior designer.
The money laundering charges refer to the period between 2008 and 2020.
The Prosecution called for the freezing of the assets of the company she represents, with lawyer Edward Gatt, appearing on behalf of the accused, objecting and declaring she is being arraigned simply because she is Keith Schembri’s wife.
Asked to quantify the amount of money allegedly laundered, the Prosecution initially stated it could not comply at this point, but Magistrate Stafrace Zammit remarked it was not acceptable for the Prosecution not to know the amount.
The Prosecution replied that the suspicion centres on transfers made from the Kasco company to 3 City Designs Limited, with Inspector Lianne Bonello stating that the amount of the money laundering is in the region of 1.5 million euro.
Magistrate Stafrace Zammit acceded to the request for the freezing of assets and moved on to hear the request for bail.
The Prosecution did not object to the request as Schembri Vella is being charged as representative of a company, and not in a personal capacity.
Magistrate Stafrace Zammit granted bail to Schembri Vella against a number of conditions, including a 10,000 euro deposit and a 40,000 euro personal guarantee, signing of the bail book at Qawra Station four times a week, and remaining indoors between midnight and 6.30 a.m., as well as a ban on overseas travel.
Schembri Vella and a legal person who has still to be arraigned in Court were arrested some time ago after days of intensive investigations by the Anti-Money Laundering Squad within the Department of Financial Crime Investigations.
The prosecution is being conducted by lawyers Antoine Agius Bonnici and Andrea Zammit from the Office of the Attorney General, assisted by Inspectors Lianne Bonello and Ian Camilleri.