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Streamcast: a data centre without data

Internet service provider pulls the plug and sues Streamcast for close to €300,000 in unpaid fees since 2018.

Former Minister Konrad Mizzi at a press conference attended by Streamcast's Chairman (far right) in Mumbai in 2018.

Maltese internet service provider Melita is suing Streamcast in Malta for close to €300,000 in unpaid internet access fees.

The telecommunications operator filed a sworn application on 10 December 2019 that said Streamcast had failed to make several payments for services, even defaulting on a repayment agreement.

Streamcast was lauded in 2018 as ‘a major international company’ that would invest €75 million in the launch of an international data centre in Malta. It got the backing of the government, with former Minister Konrad Mizzi even turning up in Mumbai, India, and attending a press conference by Streamcast.

Melita is now claiming that Streamcast has scarcely made any payments since it was first provided with a fibre optic internet connection in 2018, with arrears reaching a staggering €294,623 until its service was terminated.

Melita vs Streamcast
Court documents show that internet service provider Melita is suing Streamcast over close to €300,000 in unpaid bills on what is a basic service to a data centre.

An investigation by The Shift stripped the Streamcast deal of the hype and showed a company that came from nowhere, without a data centre, infrastructure, funds, a track record or even a proper website. They got a sweetheart deal in Malta.

Instead of the promised investment of €75 million, Streamcast seems to be leaving a trail of debt. The summary proceedings by Melita need to be notified to Streamcast in order for the Court to pronounce itself – and this is proving to be a problem.

The sole director and shareholder, on paper, is registered as living at ‘Flat 4’ of a dilapidated block in Mellieħa – except, the block has only three flats.

Streamcast Mellieha
The CEO, sole director and sole director of Streamcast is, on paper, registered as living in Flat 4 in a block of apartments with, according to its intercom, only three flats.

Melita’s court filings show that despite several reminders and a threatening letter from Melita’s Head of Legal, Streamcast appears to have simply played for time.

Streamcast even signed a repayment agreement with Melita in September 2019 accepting that it was indebted to the service provider. It agreed to pay its arrears in instalments. Yet, a day after signing, Streamcast defaulted.

Given how essential internet access is to a data centre, this latest development raises the question of whether Streamcast has any arrears with Enemalta and why no one has thought of pulling the plug earlier.”

Streamcast has failed to make a single payment under even the repayment agreement. Meanwhile, the business was “flipped” with chunks of it sold at a profit after the project received the endorsement, support and promotion by the Maltese government and its entities.

The Shift has shown how NexiaBT partners invested in Streamcast Group through a Maltese company called Capital Knight Ltd (now in liquidation) before the sell-off took place.

Maltese company, Capital Knight Ltd, subscribed for shares in Streamcast’s Irish holding company. The Maltese company is owned by Nexia BT partners Brian Tonna, Karl Cini, Manuel Castagna and Oliver Said.

This latest development, showing a data centre failing to pay for its most basic service and getting cut off, sheds further light on this somewhat surreal venture.

Given how essential internet access is to a data centre, this latest development also raises the question of whether Streamcast has any arrears with Enemalta (for rent or electricity) and if so why has no one thought of pulling the plug?

Multiple companies in what’s left of the Streamcast Group have been abandoned with a few such as its Irish and UK companies simply being struck off. Its Maltese companies, established with minimum share capital, are now well overdue in several filings and most people involved have moved on.

Streamcast’s registered office is a law firm’s office in Valletta that has already refused service of court documents.

Nexia BT, Enemalta and Streamcast (through an individual who has dropped all mention of Streamcast from her CV) reacted to The Shift’s investigation denying any wrongdoing.

Read more here: Who is behind Streamcast?

Police received several updates on Mizzi, Schembri from FIAU

‘Alarming restrictions on journalists’