Updated 1.35pm

A Maltese man will be extradited to the US as part of an FBI investigation into the sale of illegal malware on the dark web.

Daniel Joe Meli, 27, from ┼╗abbar was also allegedly involved in mentoring services on a hacking forum, according to police.

The malware is known as RAT - or remote access trojan - and is used by criminals to gain access to and control computers and servers.

Several US victims have fallen prey to RAT, with no reported victims in Malta so far, the police added.

A search and arrest warrant for Meli, a check-in agent, was issued by a magistrate on Tuesday. On Facebook, he says he works for Aviaserve and previously worked at Air Malta. 

The investigations in Malta were led by the Cybercrime Unit following a request for assistance by the US authorities, which believe that the prime suspect in the sale of malware is Maltese.

According to investigations by the local police, Meli was working with other people who were not Maltese and did not live here.

He was arrested at his place of work in Gudja on February 7. Several items linked to the investigation were confiscated from places owned by the suspect.

He was escorted to court, where Magistrate Giannella Camilleri Busuttil on Thursday kicked off the extradition procedure.

Meli consented to the extradition and is being kept at the Corradino Correctional Facility in the meantime.

His lawyer, Joe Giglio, invoked the rule of speciality, meaning that he was to be extradited to answer only for the charges indicated in the relative documentation. 

A Nigerian accomplice was arrested in Nigeria, while investigations led by Europol are ongoing in Austria, Canada, Croatia, Finland, The Netherlands, Romania, Germany and Nigeria.

Inspectors Dr Mario Cuschieri and Robinson Mifsud prosecuted. 

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