Updated November 25, 12.30pm

Two former footballers spent the night in prison on Monday after police carried out an overnight sting operation.  

Law enforcement sources confirmed that a number of raids were carried out between Monday and the early hours of Tuesday morning targeting the two men and a number of their associates. 

Some 10 people have been arrested in total. They included high-profile lawyer Arthur Azzopardi and accountant Chris Baldacchino. Sources said the two white-colour professionals were interrogated in connection with suspected money laundering activity. Azzopardi was released yesterday afternoon. 

On Tuesday, a court ordered a ban on the publication of names involved in the case or of the crimes they are alleged to have committed. But the ban was only communicated to media houses on Wednesday morning, more than 24 hours after the arraignment. 

Times of Malta had already published details, including names of the accused, in its Wednesday newspaper edition, before the court communicated that ban. The court acknowledged that media publications could not be faulted for having done so before they were made aware of the ban. 

Both footballers were arraigned and charged late on Monday night. They were denied bail and spent the night in prison. 

Sources said the operation was deliberately kept under wraps as a number of arrests were still being carried out.  

Editorial note: This article has been edited following a court-ordered ban on publishing details related to the case. 

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