The Italian man arrested in Malta on Sunday, through a European Arrest Warrant, is the owner of an iGaming company in Malta, which employs 80 persons. This emerged in Court where proceeding started for the extradition from Malta of the man who has been living here for the past 10 years.
The proceedings against the Italian, who allegedly has connection with a Mafia organization and has been wanted for years by the Italian authorities, are being heard by Magistrate Astrid May Grima.
The prosecution, led by Dr Matthew Xuereb from the Attorney General’s office and by Inspector Mark Galea, stated that the man was arrested in Swieqi in front of his residence. They said that the request for the Italian’s arrest was made in the Schengen system at the end of January by the Reggio di Calabria court. He is wanted in Italy for associating himself with the organisation, management and collection of illegal bets and money to facilitate a Mafia organisation.
The Court upheld a defence request so that the name of the man, aged 42, is not published. Dr Arthur Azzopardi argued, among others, that if his name is published, the jobs of 80 persons who work with his company in Malta, may be in danger.
The Italian objected to his extradition.
Dr Azzopardi stated that the man has been living in Malta for 10 years and has various connections in the country, adding that if he wanted to escape from Malta he would have done so long ago. He said that the Italian authorities want him so that he pays the corporate tax in Italy, instead of in Malta.
The prosecution objected that he is granted bail as the charges he is facing in his country carry a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment. The defence said that the Italian was ready to pay himself for a Police guard in front of his home.
The Court rejected the request for his release from custody and the Italian will be remanded in prison.