Gro­cery owner granted bail fol­low­ing charges of money laun­der­ing

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

A 38-year-old man from Sliema was ar­raigned be­fore the court of mag­is­trates fac­ing charges of money laun­der­ing. The gro­cery owner, whose name can­not be pub­lished by or­der of the court, ap­peared be­fore mag­is­trate Francesco Depasquale charged with crimes com­mit­ted in Septem­ber 2017 and the pre­vi­ous years.

In­spec­tor Ray­mond Aquilina ex­plained that the ac­cused of of­fer­ing bank­ing ser­vices with­out a li­cence and for of­fer­ing ser­vices re­lated to fi­nance with nec­es­sary li­cences.

The court heard how the ac­cused used to ac­cept checks from clients, hand them cash in re­turn while he goes and de­posits the checks for them. The ac­cused would take a small per­cent­age in com­mis­sion for this ser­vice ren­dered. This il­le­gal op­er­a­tion would take place in his gro­cery store in Sliema.

De­fence lawyer San­dro Lia said that the court should take not of the clean po­lice con­duct. The pros­e­cu­tion ar­gued that there are in­ves­ti­ga­tions still on­go­ing but did not ob­ject to the re­quest for bail. The de­fence then men­tioned how the man co­op­er­ated with the po­lice and gave all nec­es­sary doc­u­ments to the au­thor­i­ties. Lia also re­marked that the man has a fixed job, a fixed res­i­dence in Malta with young chil­dren.

Mag­is­trate Depasquale or­dered that the man is re­leased on bail but or­dered to pay a de­posit of €2,000 and a per­sonal guar­an­tee of €10,000.

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