Current Affairs
Malta requests sanctions on two Maltese men in the fight against contraband and money laundering

Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela told TVM that the Government is committed, even internationally, to fight contraband and money laundering. He was replying to TVM questions on the case of Darren and Gordon Debono, who were arrested in Italy in connection with fuel contraband from Libya. Malta had even requested United Nations sanctions to be imposed on them.

The Government will resume its case in court in favour of its committee decision to follow the implementation of United Nations sanctions, after the Court issued a temporary inhibition order so that the government desists with its efforts on sanctions to be imposed against Darren and Gordon Debono who, together with another person, are under investigation in Italy on fuel contraband and money laundering.

The case came to light when in the United Nations, Russia
requested more information before approving or not the sanctions against the two men, who although they have the same surname, are not related to each other. TVM asked Minister Carmelo Abela about the reason the Government took this action against Maltese citizens for the first time in history.

“The Government is committed to fight any type of trafficking, even that carried out away from our shores – this is a commitment that the Maltese Government has by collaborating with other countries in this respect. Secondly, it is not wise to comment on the case when a Court inhibition order is in place. However, the sanctions monitoring board, after considering information they have, take these type of actions. As a Government, we support these actions”.

TVM asked Minister Abela about the content of sanctions that the UN may impose on a person, and not on a country.

“Here, it is individual persons who are affected. They target particular persons, that is it will not affect the country or the country’s economy, but persons who once they are on the list, in certain issues no trade can be carried out with them”.

While Darren and Gordon Debono deny the charges against them, it appears that actions on their activity and assets are being tightened as, apart from the Maltese and Italian government, the United States is also closely following their case.

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