Enemalta, Maltese police look into wind farm deal in Montenegro - report

Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat during the inauguration of Mozura wind farm; Source: Montenegrin Government

PODGORICA (Montenegro), June 24 (SeeNews) - Maltese state-owned company Enemalta has launched an internal investigation and requested a police probe into suspected corruption and diversion of funds in the Mozura wind farm project in Montenegro, Maltese media reported on Wednesday.

Directors at Enemalta are "fully committed to provide the fullest support possible to the investigative authorities", Times of Malta quoted a company spokesman as saying.

Last week, Times of Malta revealed information showing that Yorgen Fenech, a suspect in the murder of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017, had made a 4.6 million euro ($5.2 million) profit through his company 17 Black from the acquisition of shares in Mozura by Enemalta.

The Maltese company agreed to buy shares in Mozura for 10.3 million euro from Seychelles-registered company Cifidex in December 2015. However, just over two weeks before, Cifidex had bought those same shares for 2.9 million euro from Fersa Renovables, a Spanish consortium granted a concession to run the wind farm by the Montenegro government in 2010. 

Evidence shows Cifidex funded the share purchase through a 3 million euro payment transferred by 17 Black to the company in late November 2015. By June 2016, Cifidex had sent back to 17 Black the original 3 million euro along with an additional "profit" of at least 4.6 million euro, three sources with access to 17 Black’s banking records in Dubai have confirmed, Times of Malta reported last week.

The Enemalta spokesman said the company was "completely unaware of the bank transfer transactions and possible criminal acts by third parties," Times of Malta reported on Wednesday. 

In a separate statement on Saturday, Maltese police said they had already launched an investigation into the case in collaboration with Europol and with the assistance of other competent authorities.

Enemalta inaugurated the 46 MW Mozura wind farm in Montenegro's Ulcinj municipality in November in the presence of former Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat. This was Muscat's last official visit abroad before he announced his resignation under pressure from street protests urging him to step down because of the assassination of Galizia.

Enemalta holds a 10% stake in Mozura Wind Park Podgorica, while the remainder is owned by Malta Montenegro Wind Power JV. International Renewable Energy Development Limited, a joint venture company incorporated by Enemalta and Shanghai Electric in 2015, controls a 70% stake in Malta Montenegro Wind Power JV, while 30% is owned by Guernsey-based Vestigo Clean Energy I Limited and Hong Kong-based Envision Energy International Limited.

($ = 0.887086 euro)

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