Manuel Castagna 4th person arrested with Schembri, Tonna, Cini

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Nexia BT partner Manuel Castagna was the fourth person arrested on suspicion of money laundering, along with Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna and Karl Cini, and the OPM’s former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.

This was revealed by the Times of Malta. Castagna is responsible for audits and human resources, as well as the firm’s compliance. He is also one of the 3 members that sat on the Evaluation and Adjudication Committee for the Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) deal that saw 3 public hospitals go in the hands of the private company. However, he had denied having unduly influenced the evaluation process in any way.

All four are currently on police bail, as investigations are ongoing. They were arrested following a court order to freeze all assets issued by Madam Justice Edwina Grima. The court order came just days after the conclusion of a magisterial inquiry into whether Schembri took a €100,000 kickback on passport sales. In 2017, the Government announced that Nexia BT was made the official sales agent for the Middle East citizenship programme.

Tonna, Cini, Castagna and Schembri arrested
Watch: Keith Schembri out on police bail

Tonna is the founder and managing partner of Nexia BT, while Cini is its tax and international services partner. They have been at the centre of numerous controversies in recent years after the Panama Papers revealed that they had set up offshore structures for then-Minister Konrad Mizzi and for Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri.

Nexia BT’s Individual Investor Program licence has been suspended. Furthermore, the Accountancy Board has decided to institute disciplinary proceedings against Tonna and Cini in the wake of their arrest earlier this week, suspending their accountancy warrants in the process.