Times of Malta newspaper said Tuesday that a Libyan, whose name first surfaced two years ago when police uncovered a €20 million money laundering and tax evasion racket, was arrested a few days ago during a short visit to Malta.

The newspaper added that Tripoli-born Murad Ali Al-Furjani, 38, was arrested and arraigned over his suspected involvement in the racket concerning a number of Libyan nationals who were travelling in and out of Malta with cash allegedly linked to the purchase of valuable merchandise, including luxury vehicles, jewellery and branded clothing. 

"Most of the money was being taken to Turkey, police had stated in 2021 when Libyan nationals Hesham Zayed, Essem Mohamed Edernawi, Khaled Baely, Hdidan Tamer Ramadan Ali and five companies represented by Zayed, were charged in court." The newspaper added, saying Maltese police had carried out investigations in coordination with other foreign jurisdictions, including the US, the UK, Italy and Europol. 

Prosecuting Inspector Keith Mallan had testified that the police had received information about several Maltese citizens of Arab origin who were declaring substantial sums of cash when going through customs at the Malta International Airport. 

"Al-Furjani, who apparently lived in Libya with his family, had travelled to Malta for a brief visit. 

And that was when police arrested him, charging him in court with money laundering, criminal conspiracy and making a false declaration in any document intended for use by a public or any other authority. He pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody. His defence counsel, Arthur Azzopardi and Jacob Magri, made no request for bail in light of the fact that the accused had no fixed address and no job in Malta." Times of Malta explained.