Current Affairs
More suspicions and speculations emerge of criminal link in Daphne Caruana Galizia murder

Darren Debono, who last week was arrested by Italian police in connection with investigations on fuel contraband, was mentioned by Daphne Caruana Galizia a year and eight months ago when she warned carefullu that he will not be the next victim of a car bomb.

Many reports, especially in the Italian media, have mentioned the fuel contraband as the motive behind the murder of Caruana Galizia. Sources close to investigators on the case said that this is one of the scenarios they are considering, however they made it clear that there are other suspicions in connection with criminality.

In the past hours, Italian media reports said that, among the most credible reasons for Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, there are her articles on fuel contraband and people involved in this activity.

An extensive reportage on the RAI news station mentions the Zwara port as the nest of operation of Fahmi Moussa Salem Bin Khalifa – the leader of a Libyan militia, also known as the king of fuel contraband in Libya. The report says that many other criminals operate from this port in the illegal business with contacts with Malta and Italy.

RAI station identified the Libya-Italy route for fuel contraband in this way: big modified fishing ships, loaded with fuel, sail from the Zuwara or Zawia port in Libya. Transhipment of the fuel is carried out on tankers in international waters. They specifically mention Hurd’s Bank, an area outside the Maltese territorial waters, where ships anchor so that the fuel is pumped to tankers from where they sail to Italian harbours.

In this area, the Italian Guardia di Finanza filmed a similar activity as part of the operation nicknamed ‘Dirty Oil’. In the past days, a RAI journalist flew on an airplane while an onboard source identified to him seven ships anchored in Hurd’s Bank, which are known in such business.

The Dirty Oil operation, coordinated by the Catania attorney, led to the arrest on Friday of Maltese national, Darren Debono in Lampedusa. Another Maltese, Gordon Debono, is also implicated in the case with Italian authorities estimate that more than €30 million worth of contraband fuel was transported.

A year ago, Daphne Caruana Galizia wrote in her blog that the trend emerging in recent years crimes showed that people involved in diesel contraband are killed in car bomb explosions, while drug traffickers are killed with firearms. She named people who allegedly are involved in fuel contraband.

In another article, she reacted to threats she received by email by a relative of Darren Debono. Daphne mentioned in the article two of the deaths of the past three years in car bomb explosions and warned her to be on alert that Darren Debono will not end in the same way.

Meanwhile, American journalist Ann Marlow wrote on twitter that a trusted source told her that the explosive material allegedly used in the bomb that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia, known as Semtex, was brought over from the Zwara port in Libya. Two years ago, Ann Marlowe investigated and wrote on fuel contraband from Libya following the revolution that ended the Gaddafi regime.

However, tvm.com.mt is informed that until now there is still no scientific evidence that the explosive used in the Bidnija murder was Semtex. A source close to investigators said that it is a mistake at this stage that such a conclusion is made when laboratory analysis is still ongoing to determine what explosive was used. They however said that it was surely a high explosive and in this category there are various types of other explosives, such as TNT and others.