Outgoing gaming authority chief executive Heathcliff Farrugia was recently questioned by police over communication he had with alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder conspirator Yorgen Fenech.
The Malta Gaming Authority chief executive resigned on Tuesday, together with Karl Brincat Peplow - the chief officer in charge of authorisation.
Police sources told Times of Malta that Farrugia was called in for questioning in recent months after he was found to have communicated “at some length” with Fenech.
The information emerges from an in-depth analysis of Fenech’s phone, which was seized by police when he was arrested last year.
Farrugia was questioned by investigators from the Financial Crimes Investigation Department over what police sources described as “suspicious communication” with Fenech, who is a casino owner and who served as CEO of Tumas Gaming and of the Portomaso Casino.
Farrugia denies Las Vegas holiday with Fenech
Contacted on Wednesday, Farrugia confirmed that he had been spoken to by the police, but insisted there was nothing untoward about his exchanges with Fenech.
“As the head of the authority I am in contact with a number of the large operators in the sector and can assure you that there was nothing irregular,” he said.
Times of Malta is also informed that Farrugia was asked by police whether he had travelled abroad with Fenech to gambling mecca Las Vegas while already at the helm of the gaming regulator.
Asked about this on Wednesday Farrugia told Times of Malta it was not he, but another MGA official who had travelled abroad with the alleged murder conspirator.
Farrugia insisted his resignation from the regulator had nothing to do with Fenech and had been on the cards for quite some time.
He said he intends on setting up a company in the private sector along with top MGA official Peplow, who also resigned on Tuesday.
The Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services in a brief statement on Wednesday announced Farrugia was not renewing his contract and Brincat Peplow was "seeking new ventures".
The duration period for their departure shall be determined by the MGA board in the coming weeks, the authority said.
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