Six Online Gambling Companies Busted in MaltaPublished August 6, 2015 by Lee R
A string of high-ranking executives at six companies and and shareholding companies has resulted in the shut down.
A growing scandal has claimed the assets of six online companies in Malta.
Malta Government Investigates Links
Considered a haven for offshore iGaming operation, the Malta government has put its foot down. The assets of six Maltese online gambling companies have been seized by the government, while the Malta Gaming Authority has suspended the offending companies as well.
The companies shut down in the Italian-led crackdown included Uniq Group Limited (Betuniq), Betsolution4U Limited, Tebaral Holding Ltd, Tebaral Trading Ltd and Fast Run Ltd under suspicion of money laundering.
Concurrent with the European Warrant-driven measure, the Malta Police Force is investigating possible links between Malta’s online gaming sector and the Calabria mafia.
Maltese Government Holds Ground
In the relatively remote offshore environment that has served as the point of entry for so many online gambling sites, this raised questions in the local Maltese Press about the due diligence of the Malta Gaming Authority in conducting background checks on licensees.
Malta Finance Minister Edward Scicluna reaffirmed the Maltese government's confidence in its regulatory structure as well as its abilities to safely regulate and issue licenses within its jurisdiction, while responding to the current scandal with a review of the current regulatory regime.
Maltese fiduciary firm GVM Holdings is also under investigation, with co-director David Gonzi targeted by Italian authorities.
GVM Holdings is a shareholder in Start Games Ltd, where director Mario Gennaro and company secretary Valentina Tavilla are also under investigation.
Both Start Games and GVM hold shares in UniQ Group Ltd and UniQ Shopping Ltd.
The complex web is not concerned with Maltese regulation, but the covert creation of companies in Malta to launder money to an as yet undetermined extent.
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