On camera, with a convicted criminal at a ‘billionaires’ event

Aqra bil-Malti.

Disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat was caught on camera mingling with Soviet-born New York businessman Jacob Arabov, a convicted felon, in a promo for an event dubbed ‘the billionaire dinner show’.

The promo was for the launch of the club on 19 July. Arabov, known as ‘Jacob the Jeweller’, was captured sitting at Muscat’s table.

Arabov pleaded guilty in 2006 to falsifying records and giving false statements. US authorities accused Arabov and others of conspiring to launder drug profits for the “Black Mafia Family,” a ring that operated out of the Detroit area from 1990 to 2005.

Authorities accused him and others of conspiring to launder about $270 million in drug profits.

The seven-year investigation resulted in the indictment of more than 100 people in the US.

Arabov was released from prison in 2010. Known as the “King of Bling,” he became popular among hip-hop and R&B artists in the mid-1990s.

Meanwhile, in Malta, Muscat complained about being unable to pay his Netflix subscription. At the same time, he travelled to Dubai, and his wife, Michelle, travelled to Zurich soon after the money laundering charges were filed in a court two weeks ago.

Joseph Muscat and several others are being charged with money laundering, fraud, making fraudulent gains, and conspiracy to commit an offence. Prosecutors have requested a €30 million freezing order against Muscat.

The charges follow the conclusions of a magisterial inquiry that looked into a deal to privatise three state hospitals negotiated and managed by Muscat’s government.

Muscat’s attitude was criticised by Labour veterans, such as Martin Debattista, a former editor of Labour’s media and a senior lecturer at the University, who said the result of the elections was “a win for those angry at how they were taken for a ride by Joseph Muscat, who insists on being a hero while playing the victim after he dismantled good governance.”

What would two individuals accused of money laundering possibly have in common? Perhaps that’s what they discussed over champagne.

                           

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15 Comments
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Vanni
Vanni
12 days ago

What would two individuals accused of money laundering possibly have in common?

Prison showering etiquette?

Mick
Mick
12 days ago
Reply to  Vanni

Money movements around the globe with easy access, I would wager. Like Malta.

wenzu
wenzu
12 days ago
Reply to  Mick

It’s easy to move your money around when you have a diplomatic passport. No one is going to check your bags for cash. Dubai, anyone?

Vanegas
Vanegas
12 days ago
Reply to  Mick

Anything is possible with a diplomatic passport.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
12 days ago

Maybe Muscat will tell us that he worked as a consultant to the businessman Jacob Arabov.

Mick
Mick
12 days ago
Reply to  saviour mamo

This advisory bit was how to rip off a whole country, get paid for it, and even when you caught get paid again.

J.Degabriele
J.Degabriele
12 days ago

There’s no depht into which Muscat hasn’t dived!

Joseph
Joseph
12 days ago

Hardona, should have had an invite, his kind of scene. But maybe he’s too low down to fit in at the kinks table!

P montebello
P montebello
12 days ago

Ladies and gentlemen this person sends you a cheque for euros 82 before elections. This will not even be enough for you to enter and have a drink or meal (mind you if you try to enter) at this club. A meal costs much over e100. I ask maybe another consultancy excuse on the way? Or maybe one has to spend some ill gotten gains?

A. Fan
A. Fan
12 days ago

Brava!

Btw, even with possible time served while the case was pending, four years seems awful light for laundering more than a quarter billion dollars for notorious Detroit mobsters… So let’s hope our international poster boy for corruption bragged freely to his dinner companion(s) about his various criminal exploits.

wenzu
wenzu
12 days ago

Obviously our local maggot mixes with the big time crooks to pick up some tips.

NGT
NGT
12 days ago

I’m shocked! Never saw that one coming.

Emanuel (Noel) Ciantar
Emanuel (Noel) Ciantar
12 days ago

This story about the disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Mvscat and Jacob Arabov deserves more investigation.

In the first place, The Shift News is the only Maltese news outlet which has correctly reported Jacob’s surname as Arabov, as opposed to other websites which referred to him as Arabo. He is in fact Russian.

And in the second place, Mvscat told Times of Malta that he accidentally met Arabov, whom he described as a “top entrepreneur,” at Billionaire Porto Cervo
“last year” after the two were placed next to each other by chance. Mvscat said he was invited to a “business event at the club,” but no details were given of who invited him. But I do not believe Mvscat’s version of events, for the reasons I explain below.

Here are a few important facts about Arabov and the private club Billionaire Porto Cervo.

Arabov owns Jacob & Co, a jewellery and wristwatch retail company registered in New York, USA.

In the three years 2017-2019, and in 2022, Italian events designer Claudio Rotunno organised major annual events for Jacob & Co at Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire Porto Cervo, a club for the Elite (and the Establishment) in Sardegna. No such events were held in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it does not appear that any such event was held in 2023 either.

The annual events were held in August of each of the four years mentioned.

From the video of Mvscat and Arabov, it is clear that the meeting took place in Summer.

This means that Arabov’s connection with Billionaire Porto Cervo is a business one, in which Jacob & Co uses Briatore’s venue and network of jet-setters and the filthy rich to market the products of Jacob & Co, and this is done through the services of third party Rotunno with whom Arabov and Jacob & Co have a client/service provider relationship. It is unlikely that Arabov would turn up at Billionaire unless Rotunno is organising an event for Jacob & Co, because their commercial relationship would otherwise be harmed.

Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that Mvscat was attending one of the events of Jacob & Co organised by Rotunno at Billionaire in the picturesque Porto Cervo.

But since there is no public internet record of such event last year, Mvscat’s statement to Times of Malta that he met Arabov last year is unlikely to be true, but it is likely that the truth is that he attended the 2022 event by Rotunno.

There is strong independent evidence that suggests that Mvscat attended the 2022 event. The pink-coloured decorations in the background behind Mvscat match those in pictures of the 2022 event on the jacobandco Instagram account. They also match those in a separate video available on the internet from 27 August 2022 of that years’ celebrations by Jacob & Co at Billionaire Porto Cervo by Vlogger Carl Runefelt. It is unlikely that the same decorations will be used in more than one event when this kind of money and guests are involved.

Now it so happened that the 2022 Jacob & Co’s event organised by Rotunno was inspired by “il Padrino,” i.e. Francis Ford Coppola’s movie “The Godfather,” on the occasion of the 50th anniversary since its release. The 1972 film is about the Mafia and its ruthless Corleone bosses. In 2022 Jacob & Co produced Opera Godfather, a tribute timepiece dedicated to the movie. The Italian media had this to say about the event: “L’imprenditore sardo Claudio Rotunno ha portato al Billionaire le atmosfere e le suggestioni del famosissimo film hollywoodiano ‘Il Padrino.’ L’occasione era la celebrazione dell’ultima creazione di Jacob Arabo, ovvero uno degli orologi più lussuosi e ricercati mai concepiti, ideato e realizzato in un’edizione limitata per rendere omaggio appunto alla leggendaria pellicola di Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather. Solo centottanta gli esclusivi invitati all’evento mondano, i cui nomi, altamente selezionati, comprendevano alcuni tra i più facoltosi uomini d’affari del pianeta, in prevalenza americani, arabi, cinesi e indiani.”

The media described Jacob & Co’s 2022 event as one of “pharaonic” proportions. 

Watch Runefelt’s video of Jacob & Co’s 2022 event in the link below. Jacob & Co’s event was spread over several days in August 2022, and the video may refer to a different night from the one attended by Mvscat.

I’M INVITED TO A SECRET BILLIONAIRE PARTY!!! (youtube.com)

Last edited 12 days ago by Emanuel (Noel) Ciantar
Carmelo borg
12 days ago

IL MALTI JGHID ” MA MIN TAJTEK XEBBAHTEK”
ZEPP

Carmel Garcia
Carmel Garcia
12 days ago

‘Għidli ma’ min tagħmila, u ngħidlek x’int’

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