Grocery owner granted bail following charges of money laundering
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.