Lands Authority sells prime site to owner of controversial Manoel Island fuel station

Somehow, he was the only bidder for a Gzira seafront property that will be worth millions, located across the road from his petrol station

 

Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti

More suspicious links continue to emerge between insiders at the Lands Authority and Simon Muscat, the owner of the controversial Manoel Island petrol station, among other businesses, as Muscat was the only one to have placed a public bid to purchase developable property on the Gzira front.

The Shift is informed that Muscat, who up until a few months ago was a client of Prime Minister Robert Abela’s legal firm, was strangely the only bidder for a Lands Authority sale of a dilapidated two-storey residence on the pricey Gzira seafront.

The property, which can be developed into a multi-storey apartment block, was acquired by Muscat for €981,000, just €1,000 over the Lands Authority’s asking price.

Since Muscat was the only bidder, the property was sold to him without any competition.

The property acquired by Muscat is, incidentally, right in front of his controversial petrol station, which is slated to be relocated to an area inside Gzira’s only remaining public garden. The relocation has already been approved by the Lands Authority.

The Gzira Local Council and NGOs are up in arms against the government on the issue.

Sources at the LA told The Shift that although Muscat acquired the property through a public tender, it was very strange that only one offer was placed.

Simon Muscat was the only bidder for a prime government property on the Gzira seafront

“This property will be worth millions once a full development permit for the usual block of apartments is approved by the Planning Authority. Obviously, having the right information at the right time can make a difference for some potential buyers,” sources told The Shift.

The Shift has already revealed strong links between Muscat and some of the key officials at the Lands Authority.

When James Piscopo, now a consultant of the Zammit Tabona’s Fortina Group, was at the helm of the Authority, Muscat had been given a raft of direct orders through his property maintenance company, Cubed Turnkey Projects Ltd.

In addition to having been contracted for several ‘small jobs’ by direct order, Muscat’s company was also tasked with rehabilitating the Lands Authority’s headquarters, the Auberge de Beviere, for which he was paid hundreds of thousands of euros.

Some of Muscat’s closest ‘friends’ at the LA were Clint Scerri, known as the ‘King of the Lands Authority’ following his direct involvement in the Gaffarena Old Mint Street property scandal, and Matthew Zammit, known as ‘Funk’, who was recruited at the LA by Piscopo and made to resign last year following his involvement in another scandal related to public land given to a restaurant in Senglea.

So far, the Authority has refused freedom of information requests filed by The Shift asking it to provide a list of all the contracts and payments given to Simon Muscat or Cubed Turnkey Projects over the past few years.

                           
                           
                               
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makjavel
makjavel
1 month ago

Probably all the other offers were lost in the mail.

Greed
Greed
1 month ago
Reply to  makjavel

Portelli is very angry

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
1 month ago

Allura issa dan ser jiffranka mit taxxi tal -akkwist galadarba l Gvern estenda l iskema sa Gunju 2023!
Verament m’hawnx aghar mill Gvern Laborista.
Ghandu ragun Desmond Zammit Marmara jghid li l Gvern tas suppost haddiem spicca Gvern tal Businessman.

Belinda Mifs
Belinda Mifs
1 month ago

Investigation is seriously needed to planning and lands departments there are way to many suspicious things happening which only leads to suspicion of corruption

carlos
1 month ago

A bunch of blood suckers – at the expense of the honest taxpayers. Every day a scandal and the timid Maltese are deaf, dumb and blind to all scandal. Thanks to The Shift and Manuel Delia’s blog we are constantly reminded of what a corrupt government we have been burdened with thanks to the gahans.

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