A Calabrian court has cleared three Maltese of involvement in a mafia-run money-laundering operation involving several gaming companies. 

David Gonzi, Kevin Mallia and Iosip Galea were all cleared by a preliminary judge, who found that there was insufficient evidence that the three were knowingly involved in any criminal activity. 

The three were among those named in a 700-page report by anti-mafia investigators into money laundering by Calabrian mafia organisation 'Ndrangheta. 

Investigators alleged that organised criminals recycled dirty money using gaming outlets in Italy, Malta and other countries. 

Dr Gonzi, the son of former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, was named due to his one-third shareholding in GVM Holdings, a fiduciary services company with links to one of the gaming companies flagged by investigators, BetSolutions4U, where Mr Galea served as key officer.

Mr Mallia was roped into the investigation due to his involvement as director of Uniq Shopping Ltd, one of the companies placed under investigation. 

Prosecutors leading the investigation had initially paraded Dr Gonzi's alleged involvement, writing "it is not difficult to place the subject [David Gonzi] at the centre of a triangle of criminal activity on an international scale." 

But judge Caterina Catalano though different, ruling that neither Dr Gonzi, Mr Mallia or Mr Galea should continue to feature in the anti-mafia probe and vindicating Dr Gonzi's insistence that the investigators' report was "factually incorrect."

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