Seven people suspected of having laundered more than 20 million euros via Malta have been arrested in an operation involving the Maltese police and Europol.
Malta timetables reported on Saturday that police had received reports that the suspects, of Libyan and Maltese descent, often move large amounts of money out of the country through Malta’s international airport.
Europol announced on Thursday that it had offered its support to the Maltese authorities in the context of Operation Nomad. Other foreign jurisdictions are also involved in the investigation of an organized criminal group suspected of having laundered such large sums of money.
Five Maltese companies are suspected of being involved under the control of a criminal group. Europol believes most of the funds were sent to Turkey via money couriers and the informal hawala money transfer system.
Police are trying to identify the source of the funds, which are likely to be linked to tax evasion and other criminal offenses.
Police seized € 70,000 in cash, jewelry, designer clothes, watches, luxury vehicles, foreign license plates and electronic equipment for a total value of approximately € 5 million.
Europol said its European Financial and Economic Crime Center (EFECC) has been involved in the investigation since June 2020, providing ongoing analysis to help develop data on the suspected criminal group. He also deployed a specialist to Malta to assist investigators with real-time cross-checks and document analyzes.