Malta Today on 15th July reported that Malta’s attempt at getting UN sanctions on suspected fuel smugglers Darren and Gordon Debono thwarted by last-minute veto from Russian government. Malta wanted the designations of the suspects who were at the centre of a €30 million fuel smuggling ring with Libya and Italian Mafia associates at its heart. The Maltese nationals are facing prosecution in Sicily, but are out on bail in Malta. The article refers to the ‘Wild West’ of oil smuggling that takes place on the territorial edge of Malta’s Hurd’s Bank, where Libyan oil is transferred onto fishing boats with large storage tanks, and is then transferred onto larger tankers. The €30 million fuel smuggling operation used false invoices intended to cover the origin of the Libyan oil, and used Maltese ships and Italian connections to place the fuel on the market.
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