Former EU Commissioner John Dalli's daughters will face money laundering charges in a delayed case which has raised eyebrows.
Charges were filed against six people, including Mr Dalli's daughters Louise Dalli and Claire Gauci Borda, The Malta Independent and Malta Today reported today.
Sources familiar with the investigation told Times of Malta the police had been “sitting” on the charges for almost two years.
Times of Malta sent the police questions about the case on Tuesday, with no reply yet forthcoming.
Mr Dalli’s daughters are implicated in an alleged $600,000 dollar Ponzi scheme which saw elderly American investors lose all their money. Slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had first written about the scheme back in 2015. The money was allegedly wired to a company registered at Mr Dalli's Portomaso address.
Sources questioned the money laundering charges against Mr Dalli's daughters, filed at a time when Malta is under increased international pressure to stop laundered funds filtering through the island.
Fraud charges had been prepared against Mr Dalli’s daughters, yet prosecutors had seen no scope for money laundering charges, the sources said. The sources said the money laundering charges against the other four people implicated in the scheme were fully justified.
"The inclusion of money laundering charges against the Dallis looks purely like a headline-grabbing exercise," they said.
The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism – Moneyval, will carry out an inspection in Malta next year.
The sources said the FBI had wanted the charges to be filed in the US, but the police refused to give up the case after doing all the groundwork.
Mr Dalli, together with his daughter Louise, was pictured meeting with one of the scheme’s alleged masterminds, Mary Swan, during a trip to the Bahamas in 2012.
The former EU Commissioner's Bahamas trips were later investigated by the EU's anti-fraud office Olaf.
Mr Dalli had put down one of the weekend visits to the Bahamas investigated by Olaf down to voluntary work being done to organise a “philanthropic initiative”.
He has strenuously denied past media reports by The International Herald Tribune, The New York Times’ sister paper, that the Bahamas visits were used to transfer vast amounts of money.
Ms Swan’s Sliema apartment was raided by the police in May 2015.