The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) posted an official statement to distance itself from the recently arrested ex-MGA compliance officer Iosif Galea.
The MGA stated in its release that Galea, who was recently arrested while on holiday in Italy, “has not been employed with the Authority since March 2013,” and had been serving in the role of Compliance Officer between December 2007 and March 2013.
Galea, under investigation for his part in the leaking of confidential information from the MGA, was detained on a European Arrest Warrant issued early last year, suspected of crimes including tax evasion in Germany. When arrested, Galea was on a holiday with his partner and a group that included Malta’s former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, according to the report by The Times of Malta.
Muscat Denied Links to Galea
Muscat denied any links to now gaming consultant Galea when contacted for a comment by the reporting media, explaining that the reason he was in the same group with the suspect of criminal conspiracy and leaking MGA insider information was that Galea “has for the past few months been the boyfriend of a long-time friend who was in the group.”
“We were traveling with a larger group of friends and acquaintances for a short holiday,” Muscat continued, outlining that the group completed the holiday following the news of Galea’s detainment and “returned to Malta a few days later as planned.”
The former Prime Minister added that he was not aware of any pending arrest orders against Galea and that he was not contacted by the police.
Charges with Money Laundering and Tax Evasion
Galea, who is also sought by the Malta police to face separate charges, was allowed at least on two other occasions to leave the country. It is not clear whether he will first face the investigations in Germany before returning to the island where there has been issued an arrest warrant for him earlier this month.
Maltese investigators believe that Galea, while performing as a compliance officer for the then Lotteries and Gaming Authority, now MGA, got his hands on sensitive insider information from the regulator and may have passed it to interested parties. He will also face charges of money laundering and tax evasion. Meanwhile, another former employee of the MGA, former chief technology officer Jason Farrugia was charged in court with a series of alleged offenses, including fraud, extortion and money laundering. He pleaded not guilty to all charges but was denied release on bail.
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