Maltese authorities have arrested 15 people in a money laundering case. Local media claim the criminal group was smuggling fuel in collaboration with the Italian mafia and Libyan military.
The Maltese Police’s Financial Crimes Investigation Department said in a statement on November 26 that officers seized 36 cars, €60,000, a considerable amount of jewellery and designer clothes, mobile phones and computers, and a large amount of documents.
The investigation is ongoing, but five suspects and 15 companies have already been charged with money laundering and other crimes.
Bail was denied.
These investigations are coordinated by Maltese authorities with foreign partners, including Europol, American, Italian and British law enforcement agencies.
According to Europol, the authorities froze several million euros from both legal entities and individuals during the operation, code-named Proteus.
The Malta Independent reported that the suspects were involved in a multi-million euro conspiracy of international fuel smuggling linked to the Italian mafia and Libyan armed groups.