One of the companies subject to the court asset freeze and set up by Nexia BT had acquired control of aviation company Eurojet Ltd from Tumas Group that supplied the private jets used by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
Brian Tonna and Karl Cini were directors of Eximius Business Malta, together with Indian national Sandeep Bhatt. The company is registered at the same address as Nexia BT.
The company, in turn, was owned by Eximius Business Aviation, a company registered in Delhi, India.
Both Eximius Business Malta and Eximius Business Aviation are listed in the court order issued on Monday freezing assets of companies belonging to Tonna and former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, as well as their top employees and family members.
Schembri, Tonna and Cini were among four people arrested and interrogated before being released on police bail after some 20 hours. The identity of the fourth person is so far unknown.
Eximius Business Malta and Eximius Business Aviation appear, according to public records, to be the only companies subject to the asset freeze that are not owed by Schembri, Tonna and Cini or their colleagues and relatives.
Eximius’ website claims that it has a presence in Hong Kong, India, United Arab Emirates and Malta, through the same address as Nexia BT.
Eurojet was used 16 times between March 2013 and March 2015, according to reports on comments by the Office of the Prime Minister.
Muscat and his delegation spent millions on official trips abroad during his time as Prime Minister. By 2016 alone, Muscat’s trips had already exceeded €1 million.
Originally set up by Tumas Group, the company owned by the family of suspected mastermind in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Yorgen Fenech, Eurojet saw Eximius and Spectrum (a related company) take a controlling stake in it in 2014.
Until late 2017, Tumas Group, held the remaining 50% of the shares of Eurojet. Yet with the Malta Business Registry’s recent purge of data it is not possible to determine whether this stake was later disposed of.
Both Eximius Business Malta and Eurojet were struck off in 2018, according to the scarce information remaining on the Malta Business Registry’s online system. Yet the company’s website still shows ownership of Eurojet.
Following the freezing of assets, The Shift revealed that Nexia BT and its companies were barred from onboarding new clients following two directives by the MFSA. The firm also had its companies’ licences to sell passports suspended and it and its partners were yesterday suspended from the Accountancy Board.