According to the Times of Malta, a firm affiliated to the Labour Party (PL) drafted a ‘consultancy’ agreement in which it would have received up to €200,000 from former Tumas Group CEO and 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech.
The arrangement might have been an attempt to conceal money flowing from Fenech, with the proposed ‘consultancy’ agreement submitted in May 2016 covering 33 months. The draught was delivered on behalf of B.E.D Limited by then-PL CEO Gino Cauchi.
The agreement, which appeared to have been written on a computer used by PL’s media arm – ONE Productions – was drafted to pay for marketing, research and conference consultancy, digital graphics and audio-visual productions, and advertisement placement that the company would perform for Tumas Group.
The proposed ‘consultancy’ agreement did not specify hourly fees or minimum deliverables, but it did say that Fenech would pay the firm a monthly flat rate of €6,000.
The English-language newspaper claimed that, while it is unknown whether the agreement was implemented, the newspaper is aware of at least two bills made to Fenech by B.E.D Limited in 2018 for “consultancy services.”
According to the Times of Malta, B.E.D Limited was founded in September 2013 and was controlled by Samuel Agius Livori, a former government communications assistant. The firm has no obvious ties to the ruling party.
The company’s address in 2018 was the same as ONE Productions’ in Marsa, according to the investigation, and the invoices were made out to the same address. When the Times of Malta began investigating the transaction, the firm relocated its registered office.
When asked about the relationship between B.E.D Limited and ONE Productions, Cauchi allegedly informed the newspaper that he did not sign any agreements on behalf of the party and urged Times writers to address their inquiries to ONE Productions. Jason Micallef, CEO of ONE Productions, did not reply to any inquiries.
Tumas Group director Ray Fenech (Yorgen Fenech’s uncle) informed the Times of Malta that the draught agreement could not be found, but that the business was used for branding and public relations.
In November 2019, Yorgen Fenech was arrested in connection with the death of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. He has been held in preventive detention ever then and was just charged with murder. Fenech was also recently accused of money laundering and violating the Arms Act by acquiring firearms without a Police Commissioner’s licence.