An audit firm implicated in facilitating corruption by former government officials had been brought in to justify the €10.3 million acquisition of a wind farm project in Montenegro, which has since become steeped in scandal.

Nexia BT was hired in 2015 to draw up an evaluation report about the deal after Enemalta’s Chinese partners Shanghai Electric Power (SEP) sought an explanation about its price tag, sources familiar with the deal told Times of Malta.

In December 2015, the same month Enemalta went ahead and paid the €10.3 million, Nexia BT sent an e-mail indicating that former Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi and former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri would receive up to €2 million from murder suspect Yorgen Fenech’s company 17 Black.

An internal Enemalta probe was launched after Times of Malta and Reuters had revealed how the former Electrogas director had secretly profited from the deal via 17 Black.

Instead of Enemalta buying shares in the wind farm project directly from the owner (the Spanish consortium Fersa), Enemalta reached an agreement with an intermediary company called Cifidex.  Cifidex did not even own the wind farm shares at the time Enemalta’s board formally gave the go-ahead to pursue the deal with it in January 2015.

The introduction of Cifidex into the deal saw them sell shares they had bought from Fersa for €2.9 million in December 2015 onto Enemalta for €10.3 million just two week later.

At the time, Cifidex was owned by Turab Musayev, a former Socar Trading director of the Electrogas power station consortium. Musayev has denied any wrongdoing.

Enemalta sealed the wind farm deal in late 2015.Enemalta sealed the wind farm deal in late 2015.

The sources explained how Shanghai Electric Power had flagged how Cifidex was going to buy the project shares from Fersa for a third of the €10.3 million it would sell them for to Enemalta.

Accenture, the advisers that worked with SEP on the deal, were the ones who initially reached out to Nexia BT in January 2015 about drawing up a report.

Nexia BT brought in

Accenture, the advisers that worked with SEP on the deal, were the ones who initially reached out to Nexia BT in January 2015 about drawing up a report.

Accenture representative Chen Cheng used Nexia BT to open an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands and an account at the now-defunct Pilatus Bank that would, according to Nexia BT, receive a cash injection of €1 million in 2015, the same year the wind farm deal was completed.

Chen had introduced the Montenegro project to Enemalta’s board in December 2014, describing Cifidex as the “sole agent” for the deal.

A copy of Chen Cheng’s business card was among the documents seized from Fenech’s Portomaso office.

Fenech resigned as an Electrogas director week before his arrest and eventual arraignment on complicity charges in journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder. Fenech denies the charges.

Apart from an internal Enemalta investigation into the deal, a police probe and magisterial inquiry were also opened into the scandal, which led to Konrad Mizzi being ejected from the Labour Party.

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