in , ,

Additional garnishee orders against Vitals Global Healthcare top €1 million

Four garnishee orders filed against Vitals Global Healthcare, the concessionaire for the operation of the Gozo, St Luke’s and Karin Grech hospitals

What was supposed to be the new Gozo hospital

A garnishee order of $1 million (€803,645) filed against Vitals Global Healthcare by a Canadian citizen tops others filed this month to bring the total to €1.1 million, court documents show.

Samuel Luft filed the garnishee order on 27 March against Vitals as well as Bluestone Investments, fronted by Ram Tumuluri, for funds he lent the people behind the project that were never paid back. Two deadlines for payments were missed.

Another garnishee order was filed on the same day by a Canadian registered company Magini Ltd for $250,000 (€200,896).

Meanwhile, the original hidden investors awarded the concession for the operation of the Gozo, St Luke’s and Karin Grech hospitals, ran into financial trouble and transferred their shares to Steward Healthcare.

READ MORE: Vitals ownership: Untangling the web

In these two cases, which exceed €1 million, the orders were served to all local banks, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Health Minister Chris Fearne and Finance Minister Edward Scicluna.

They top another two other garnishee orders discovered by The Shift News amounting to €70,000 in the last month.

Another was filed on 1 February by PT Matic Environmental Services (PTM) for a debt totalling almost €47,000, and another by an American company Specialized Engineering Solutions (SES) for over €23,000 filed on 27 March.

A garnishee order is a court order that requires all persons on whom it is served, including banks, to block all assets due to the alleged debtor (up to the amount specified in the order) and also to deposit any available funds in court within 19 days from the date when the garnishee order was served.

READ MORE: Key questions, no answers

PTM offers waste handling services, whereas the US company SES was hired to programme, plan and design innovative solutions at both St. Luke’s General Hospital Campus and Gozo General Hospital Campus.

Vitals got €50 million from taxpayers’ money since 2016 but they left a trail of debt while the concessionare has not yet delivered any new service or constructed or refurbished any of the hospitals.

Investigations by The Shift News revealed that one of the key companies in the British Virgin Islands had hit financial trouble last summer. Even then, Vitals was still trying to sell the Malta model abroad. The companies in Jersey created for the purpose remain active.

€70,000: Garnishee orders filed against Vitals Global Healthcare

ricardo gutierrez European Federation of Journalists

Misleading media reports draw international criticism