Lands CEO’s driver is collapsed factory developer’s business partner

Matthew Schembri, the developer behind the collapsed timber factory building site in Kordin last Saturday that claimed the life of a 20-year-old man  JeanPaul Sofia and left other workers seriously injured, is in business with Kurt Buhagiar – the driver of Lands Authority CEO Robert Vella.

As Lands Authority sources told The Shift that the LA CEO’s right-hand man might be directly implicated in the collapsed building debacle, The Shift discovered that both Buhagiar and Matthew Schembri are shareholders in Allplus Ltd, set up in 2019 to manufacture furniture and act as a construction company.

The collapsed building, built on government property allocated by Indis Malta, was to serve as a timber factory. Indis Malta has, however, so far maintained complete silence over the tragedy on its property and has not even said who had been allocated the public land.

Schembri and a criminal past

The Shift’s investigations have confirmed that both Buhagiar and Schembri, who are now being investigated over last Saturday’s tragedy, have a colourful past.

Recruited as the personal driver of the Lands Authority’s CEO in February 2021, 38-year-old Buhagiar from Naxxar spent more than a year in a Ragusa prison in 2011 after being caught red-handed by the Italian police trafficking people between Libya, Malta and Sicily along with two other Maltese accomplices.

Despite his criminal record, Buhagiar was recruited as a fitter with the Water Services Corporation by disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi before the 2017 elections, and was later moved to the Lands Authority as Robert Vella’s personal driver and most trusted right-hand man.

A few months ago, The Shift reported how Buhagiar was also pegged for a new promotion as an administrative assistant at the Lands Authority.

Apart from driving the Lands Authority CEO around, Buhagiar is also heavily involved in his personal business.

Together with Matthew Schembri, he is a 50% shareholder in Allplus Ltd.

He is also a shareholder in two other companies – SC Real Estate Ltd and 5B Limited – and is a director of the recently-registered Koperattiva Produtturi tal-Bhejjem Limitata.

Buhagiar and Schembri share a VAT number.

Matthew Schembri, whose name appears on the development application for the collapsed timber factory, which had been issued through a simple Development Notification Order by the Planning Authority last June, is currently facing court proceedings over the alleged hiring of foreign hitmen for an attack on his former wife’s father on the Sliema front.

The two alleged Albanian hitmen live together in a Sliema apartment that is owned by Schembri and claimed they worked for him illegally and without payment.

Apart from Allplus Ltd, Schembri also owns Green Technologies Ltd and Whitefrost Company Ltd.

The authorities – including Indis Malta, the Planning Authority and the Building and Construction Agency – have so far kept quiet about the incident and its implications.

The Shift has revealed that Adriana Zammit, a former Planning Authority case officer now employed full-time at Infrastructure Malta, was the architect responsible for the collapsed building, while Serbian contractors were involved in its construction.

                           
                           
                               
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Carmelo Borg
Carmelo Borg
1 month ago

Umbafd jghidu li MALTA.M HAWN X MAFIA

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

Kriminali bl-ingravata ffinanzjati minn butna askapitu tat-talent u l-kwalifikat. Meta gvern ta’ pajjiż jimpjega bidilli kriminali jfisser li l-gvern hu mmexxi mill-padruni kriminali. M’hemmx bżonn xi investigazzjoni rigoruża u Arnoudijiet.

Imma l-inkompetenti li ma jkunux f’posthom jitgħallqu bil-ħabel tagħhom stess.

RIP żgħażagħ innoċenti u ħieles. RIP.

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago

Malta on the highway to the 3rd world.

What will will do when most of our children left Malta heading for future?
What will we do when we know the real key figures?

Malta on the highway to the 3rd world.

makjavel
makjavel
1 month ago

If Jack the Ripper was a Maltese resident he would be made chief of staff after being employed as a street sweeper in front of Kastilja. to make the experience as a front door employee .

georgezammit127
georgezammit127
1 month ago
Reply to  makjavel

you forgot the man without shoes

Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
1 month ago

You can buy an X number of votes. But you cannot buy everyone!

Charles
Charles
1 month ago
Reply to  Sigmund Freud

Sadly, the island is full of ignorant uneducated sheep easily bought with a few bales of hay.

Mick
Mick
1 month ago

Why am I not surprised, in Bogan terms he was highly qualified, numbskull, active criminal, done time, and works for the firm.

David
David
1 month ago

Like the Lands Authority, isn’t Indis also under the political responsibility of Minister Silvio Schembri? So Buhagiar had the internal contacts to strike his deal. It is incredible how no one seems to see that he not only has a conflict of interest, but he might have traded in influence too. How low can we go?

Charles
Charles
1 month ago

I wonder if the family of the killed youngster will be suing the negligent culprits..although they will have a hard time collecting from these “connected” people!

Martin
Martin
1 month ago

Malta needs a good and United opposition political party. PUNTO E BASTA.

Belinda Mifs
Belinda Mifs
1 month ago

After all these years of criminal and dangerous actions from the construction industry dont you think our politicians should have put laws in place to protect from the criminals

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