Keith Schembri set up new business venture just three days after shamed former PM resigned

Just three days after disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat resigned as leader of the Labour Party at the tail-end of Malta’s 2019 political crisis, his former chief of staff Keith Schembri was already setting up a new business.

Navis Logistics was set up on 15 January 2020, in the aftermath of months of protests calling for Muscat’s resignation and led to the appointment of current prime minister Robert Abela. The company’s premises are in Bulebel Industrial Estate in Żejtun.

The company’s sole shareholder is Kasco Holdings, a company owned by Keith Schembri. Navis Logistics’s board of directors includes Malcolm Scerri, Schembri’s business partner, and his father Alfio Schembri.

Schembri and his father Alfio, along with his business partner Scerri, are presently facing court proceedings related to the Progress Press case in which Schembri stands accused of using offshore companies to pay around $5.5 million in backhanders to himself, Scerri, and former Allied Newspapers executives Adrian Hillman and Vincent Buhagiar, among others occupying management positions in the company. Progress Press is a company forming part of the Allied Newspapers group.

While Scerri had received at least $350,000 from an offshore company that Keith Schembri was using to move money, Malmos Ltd, a police inspector involved in the investigation testified that Alfio Schembri had no idea what documents he was signing in his capacity as company director.

Navis Logistics’s financial accounts have not been filed at the Malta Business Registry since it was conceived, with hardly any trace of tangible information about the company’s activities online and no official website documenting its activities.

Navis Logistics’s memorandum of association specifies that the primary reason the company was established was to “undertake the handling and transportation of all types of documents and other related, similar and associated articles, objects and materials in and or to all parts of Malta or abroad”.

The company’s authorised share capital amounts to €1,200 divided into 1,200 ordinary shares of €1 per share. Navis Logistics is a partial match with a US-based software company that specialises in technology used to operate terminals and port systems known as Navis, but no direct link was confirmed at the time of writing.

The software company’s website does not list a Malta-based subsidiary or a partner, leaving questions open as to whether Schembri’s company is affiliated with it or just happens to bear a similar name. Contact with the software company has been made to determine whether there is any official affiliation between the two.

On 21 April, The Shift published an article based on indications that the cogs of Schembri’s business empire were back in motion following a flurry of filings at the Malta Business Registry, although no recent audited accounts were actually available.

The disgraced former chief of staff to the prime minister resigned from his role on 26 November 2019 following reports that he was being interrogated by the police about the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia as well as calls for his removal shortly after he withdrew a libel case against then-opposition leader Simon Busuttil.

Schembri became a person of interest in the investigation into Caruana Galizia’s murder after he was mentioned by the middleman involved in the commissioning of the murder, Melvin Theuma, as well as being mentioned again by the man suspected of commissioning the murder, Yorgen Fenech.

Theuma was granted a presidential pardon to tell all about the assassination plot, while Fenech had name-dropped Schembri when faced with police interrogation after attempting to escape from Malta on 20 November 2019.

The withdrawal of the libel case against Busuttil, which was instituted by Schembri, following the former opposition leader’s statements about kickbacks from Fenech to Schembri through the now-infamous 17 Black and its ties to the Electrogas project, meant that Schembri avoided being cross-examined in court.

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6 days ago

One is tempted to praise the gods of archeology. Daphne is present, and nodding.
Prime Journalism. The moment when the jigsaw is no longer pieces…

6 days ago

And from what I have gleaned from the Times Of Malta over the past year and more…Keith Schembri either no longer exists or is not to be disturbed…

2 days ago

And still he’s running around enjoying his illicit gains. Shame on this SUPER CORRUPT GOVERNMENT.

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