Man caught with €160,000 in undeclared monies charged with money laundering

A 40-year-old Somali man has been arrested after pleading not guilty to money laundering and tax evasion. The accused Ali Muuse Igaale, who is a prominent figure of the Somali community in Malta was caught trying to leave Malta for Istanbul with € 160,000 in undeclared money. He was arrested at the airport on 22 August and is being held at the Corradino Correctional Facility.

It emerged in court that the suspect has been living in Malta for the last eight years and runs a clothing and hair salon shop in Hamrun. Police investigations revealed that the accused failed to declare all his income between 2018 and 2020.

The Prosecution led by Inspector Oriana Spiteri testified that the Police could not identify the source of all these thousands.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Francesca Zarb who appeared for the accused said that Muuse Igaale has ties to Malta and has helped many Somalis to find a job and build their lives in Malta.

Magistrate Gabriella Vella did not accede to the request for bail after considering that the accused has no Maltese relatives and that there was a real risk of him absconding.

The court also noted that the € 10,000 paid after his arrest had disappeared completely. However when asked about this money in prison, the prison authorities informed Igaale that the money could not be found. The matter is being investigated by the Police.