Former gaming authority CEO Heathcliff Farrugia is facing criminal charges following an investigation into trading in influence with Yorgen Fenech. 

Times of Malta has confirmed that Farrugia was charged back in January. 

The investigation and court action against the former gaming regulator were kept under wraps, with one source saying the facts of the case put Malta’s gaming industry in a particularly bad light. 

Farrugia resigned in October last year shortly after he was questioned by police over his communication with Fenech, an alleged conspirator in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and a casino owner.

Fenech served as CEO of Tumas Gaming and the Portomaso Casino.

Karl Brincat Peplow, the chief officer in charge of authorisation, had also resigned.

Police sources told Times of Malta that Farrugia was found to have communicated “at some length” with Fenech. The communication is understood to include commercially sensitive information concerning rival casino operators, as well as a discussion on an anti-money laundering inspection that was carried out on Fenech’s Portomaso Casino.

The information emerges from an in-depth analysis of Fenech’s phone, which was seized by police investigators when he was arrested in 2019 over allegedly commissioning the murder of investigative journalist Caruana Galizia.

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