Robert Musumeci brought in to ‘solve’ massive nightclub illegalities

The owner of the Aria Complex discotheque in Iklin, better known by its former name of Vibes, seems to have found the key to solving the numerous illegal developments carried out at the nightclub over the past 13 years.

The Planning Authority (PA), which issued the nightclub with an enforcement notice in 2009 that was never followed up by any direct action, is now set to let the venue’s owner Dominic Micallef off the hook by sanctioning his numerous illegalities in exchange for a small fine.

The PA’s U-turn coincides with Micallef changing his architect to Robert Musumeci, a government consultant.

The Shift is informed that after dumping his former architect Kenneth Camilleri, who had been attempting unsuccessfully to sanction Aria’s illegalities since 2009, Micallef withdrew his application in March 2021 – this was kept active to avoid the imposition of a daily fine.

A fresh application was then filed, this time by Micallef’s new architect Robert Musumeci.

Despite the PA directorate having insisted only last July that the illegalities could not be sanctioned and a recommendation for refusal issued, things have now changed after Musumeci requested the application be suspended for three months.

According to the latest update on the PA’s server, all the irregularities have been straightened out with the authorities concerned, with the latest hurdle having been cleared by the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CPRD), whose CEO Frank Muscat stated that objections were dropped following amendments crafted by Musumeci.

This latest development now opens the way for Micallef to sanction the massive illegalities at the Aria Complex, which even included splitting it up into two separate entertainment venues.

The PA will be sanctioning Micallef’s massive illegalities in exchange for a paltry fine under €36,000, or an annual average bill of less than €3,000 since he started transforming the business in clear violation of planning codes.

The complex currently hosts massive parties every weekend and even during the week with events generating significant revenue.

Since Labour was returned to power in 2013, former Nationalist Siggiewi mayor Musumeci became an ardent supporter of disgraced prime minister Joseph Muscat and stuck his neck out several times in defence of Muscat’s policies and deals, no matter how scandalous.

At the same time, he was made a consultant to various government ministries, including those responsible for the PA, and was behind the various reforms that loosened the PA’s already feeble grip on enforcement and regulation, including through the enactment of new rules.

Musumeci also became one of the main architects being given lucrative, taxpayer-funded government work.

While the Aria Complex’s latest development application was filed by a certain Raymond Desira, the complex is run by Micallef. Known to be very close to the Labour Party, Micallef is also the CEO of his own Signature Entertainment Group while additionally being involved in various entertainment events and venues.

Dominic Micallef celebrating the Labour Party’s electoral victory.

He has been in the news lately for starting several projects but not completing them, including the proposed transformation of the Valletta Waterpolo Pitch. According to the weekly newspaper Illum, the project has been abandoned by its contractor after Micallef failed to pay his dues, which reportedly ran into hundreds of thousands of euros.

Micallef also recently took over a number of old lidos in Armier, built on government property, and is trying to transform them into modern entertainment venues. There, too, the projects have fallen significantly behind schedule.

Last year, Micallef obtained a controversial PA permit to transform the former Tattingers disco on Saqqajja Hill, Rabat, into a hotel. The application was approved despite objections. Work on the project is yet to start.

Micallef is also the same businessman involved in the scandalous ‘secret’ deal with former Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando to transform his Outside Development Zone field in Mistra into an open-air disco. Following the Mistra incident, Pullicino Orlando’s relationship with the PN soured, and he became quite the fan of disgraced former Labour leader Joseph Muscat.


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Carmelo Borg
24 days ago

Mela musumeci sar perit volontier jahdem u ma jithallasx ghax.jekk kif intqal dan il famu z negozjant li dahal ghal hafna PROGETTI FALLUTI ma lesta xejn ghax xott mil finanzi bhal il MORE SUPERMARKETS ahseb u ghara kemm ghandu biex.ihallas lil dan il FAMUS PERIT/ AVUKAT BRAVU ETC ETC ETC.

24 days ago

You can use this guy to get an impossible permit or you can use him to stop someone from doing a legitimate legal project, since the authorities follow his orders blindly.

24 days ago

Lil min taf saru in-nies ta’integrita. Tnezzaw mid-dekor li ghandhom imhabba il-politika partigjana moqziesa li dahal il-partit tal-haddiem. Fejnhu il-principju demokratiku. Fuq il-karti. Biex tara kemm sirna bravi, il-mazunets jew blokok tal-bini bil-garages tahthom vilment johorgu dirett fuq il-bankini meta kien hemm ligi li biex jkollok garage irid ikollok il-front la meno Malta biss. Tal periti.

Francis Said
Francis Said
24 days ago

Architect fix-it. Any noise, any will to say enough is enough from the Chamber of Architects?

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
23 days ago

‘Problem solved’. Inconvenience to surrounding areas? NO. Illegalities? NEITHER.

22 days ago

The fact that he paid off his irregularities is tantamount to bribery.

22 days ago

Find the loopholes , put a foot in the door and a hand under the table and all is solved.
Play straight and be called a loser.

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