Cutajar suspected to have profited off visa sales

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The police suspect that former consul to Shanghai Aldo Cutajar and his wife Isabel have been illegally making money off Chinese visa sales, a Court was told.

But the couple are insisting that the suspected proceeds of this operation were generated legitimately through Isabel Cutajar’s interior design work.

The Cutajars had been arrested last week, and have been accused of money laundering and tax evasion. Aldo Cutajar is the brother of Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar, who has denied any links to his brother’s operations.

Inspector Leanne Bonello told Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech that a police search of the couple’s Naxxar home yielded over €540,000 in cash as well as a number of luxury items, including four Rolex watches. Aldo Cutajar also holds some €300,000 in a Dubai bank account.

The couple’s interior design firm, Gemini Design Studios, appears to have received some €2 million in payments from Chinese clients, transferred to Isabel Cutajar’s bank account at Satabank. Charges have also been filed against the company, which is registered in Cyprus.

The Cutajars are presently remanded in custody, with a number of civilian witnesses set to testify later this week. The defence argued that their testimony should have been prioritised so that the couple could be granted bail.