Malta-Libya Discuss Combating Illegal Migration


The General Directorate of Coastal Security in Libya met with the Advisor of Maltese Interior Minister for Irregular Immigration, Ryan Spencer. They discussed maritime security cooperation between Libya and Malta.

The Adviser of the Director of Libya’s Maritime Affairs, Khaled Buhaih and the Head of the administration branch in Tripoli, Ibrahim Al-Saqli met with Spencer and discussed enhancing the cooperation.

Last week, a United Nations’ panel of experts confirmed the involvement of Maltese companies in the smuggling of Libyan natural resources, violating UN sanctions, a court was told on Saturday.

This was revealed in reports by the United Nations’ sanctions committee, which were tabled in court by the chair of Malta’s sanctions monitoring board. As well as in proceedings linked to an extensive police investigation into international fuel smuggling.

The documents were exhibited in the ongoing compilation of evidence against Pier-Paul Debono, who is pleading not guilty to money laundering activities between 2014 and 2016. At the time he temporarily held the post of Director at World Water Fisheries, a company owned by his brother Darren Debono.

He is also pleading not guilty to knowingly or negligently making false declarations to auditors, destroying, altering or falsifying documents, and breaching company laws.

The request for a freezing order, normally put forward by the prosecution in money laundering cases was, however, withdrawn at the start of proceedings.

Darren Debono also stands accused of money laundering in separate proceedings that kicked off last year.

When taking the witness stand, Neville Aquilina, chair of the sanctions monitoring board, said the UN Security Council issued orders to member nations and ordered military action and sanctions, in case they defaulted.

A panel of eight experts was tasked with overseeing the implementation of those sanctions, Aquilina added.

The witness referred to an executive order by former US President Barack Obama in 2016. This prohibited US citizens from engaging with subjects targeted by UN sanctions, and froze any related property under US jurisdiction.

Sanctions also targeted parties in Libya, Malta, and Egypt allegedly involved in the smuggling of petroleum products from Libya to Europe.