Italian court seizes €3 million in suspected mafia assets of Malta-linked company

An Italian court has ordered the seizure of around €3 million in assets as a preventative measure against two Reggio Calabria entrepreneurs with betting and gambling operations spanning different regions in Italy with branches abroad, including Malta.

The unnamed entrepreneurs’ “sophisticated and highly profitable system” was discovered as part of the ‘Galaxy’ operation conducted by Reggio Calabria’s Guardia Di Finanza and the Central Organized Crime Investigative Service (SCICO).

The Maltese branch of the company was allegedly being funnelled funds collected through illegal betting and gambling to avoid paying due taxes in Italy, with suspects linked to the Calabria-based Mafia clan which has been accused of conducting several illegal operations in Italy and abroad

As reported by, the investigation established that these companies would make a profit using a pyramid scheme.

The two suspects at the top of the pyramid allegedly acted as managers and promoters of illegal betting and gambling points spanning Tuscany, Lazio, Calabria in Italy and Malta, Romania, Austria and Spain.

In return for a cut of the earnings, the investigation concluded the ‘Ndrangheta would offer protection and advertising for the suspects’ brands online and in local businesses with which it was affiliated.

The satellite companies in Malta and Austria were being operated remotely from Italy, according to the investigation, where the suspects had set up a network of points from which they could collect proceeds from illegal betting and gambling.

The Prevention Measures section of the Reggio Calabria Court ordered the seizure of four related companies operating in the recreational and real estate sectors, 11 buildings, land and other financial assets amounting to over €3 million.

A December 2022 study commissioned and published by the European Parliament’s co-chair of The Left in the European Parliament (GUE/NGL), Martin Schirdewan, showed how Italian Mafia clans laundered billions of euros of ill-gotten, illicit funds through online gaming platforms in Malta between 2015 and 2022.

From the €6.7 billion in total assets confiscated across some 100 investigations examined by the study, €4 billion alone came from investigations into online gaming related to Malta.

When describing why Malta’s gaming sector was so attractive to Italian organised crime, the study concluded, “The lax controls, the lack of interest in investigating and the close political ties in the country are the reasons why Malta became the mafia’s El Dorado.”

On Thursday, TheShift reported how the same Reggio Calabria court found that the ‘Ndrangheta was also being investigated for links to Italian low-cost supermarket chain Eurospin, which is set to open its first of 12 locations in Malta.

The Shift also reported how a Malta-based company had been selling encrypted secure phones and communications systems to the Italian mafia, as revealed by an Italian collaborative investigation.

The ‘Ndrangheta stands accused of various international illicit operations, which include South American cocaine smuggling, weapons smuggling out of Pakistan and laundering illegal proceeds within Europe, according to Europol.


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Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
10 days ago

Joseph Muscat and Robert Abela, this was happening between 2015 and 2022, when you were the Heads of our Government.
I wonder how you can get away from this by saying as always “NOT I” or “NOT IN MY TIME”.
This is the responsibility of both of you and your government colleagues and you were both enabling the commission of the related criminal activities.

Francis Said
Francis Said
10 days ago

Hear hear. Very well said. Now time for action to be taken against the Ndrangeta’s local connections.
The PL always boast that Malta is the best in the EU, if not the world.
The best in aiding and abetting corruption, the likes of which our beloved Country’s history has been tarnished irreparably.
No real, productive and honest investor will touch our shores.
This is the cost that our future will bear.

9 days ago
Reply to  Francis Said

From the perspective of Hope With Africa, whose children bear the brunt of this evil, you may be interested to know that I’ve been asked to return to Nairobi and assist a legal team who are looking to bring about a case of modern-day slavery against the people of Malta because of the debt burden of online gambling harm that is being done to Africa (not that they need my advice!). I could be wrong, but this may set legal precedent and focus the whole world on Malta. I agree with you Francis, the people of Malta may need to find their voice on this matter, quickly, if, as you rightly caution, the people wish to avoid the consequences of them ducking their responsibility today and in doing so, burden their own children with a debt that could easily be in the trillions – the cost of modern day slavery. After all, we are talking about 829 million young people in Africa being targeted, and harmed, at huge cost to the economic future of Africa, by a few people in Malta who do what they do in your name. To quote Bishop Tutu, ‘there comes a point when we need to stop pulling people out of the water and go upstream to better understand why they are falling in’. There comes a point…

10 days ago

The Maltese branch of the company was allegedly being funnelled funds … should that not be .. being used to funnel funds ?

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