Italian authorities are complaining on the record that the Maltese authorities are failing to cooperate in their hunt to stop Italian mafia organisations laundering their money here.

Il fatto quotidiano reported yesterday on arrests of Italian criminals believed to have used Malta as a platform for illegal gambling and fraud. The Italian authorities have frozen 8.5 million euro in cash, 14 gaming halls, 10 properties and 7 cars belonging to 8 companies with 30 bank accounts between them. The gaming halls received some 10 million euro in takings monthly and the business owners dodged 6 million euro in taxes.

The money they made in gambling halls in Italy was laundered into Medialive Casino Limited an Italian owned Maltese company.

Italian authorities go on the record complaining about the lack of cooperation by the Maltese authorities.

“The operation that led to these arrests proves gambling is one of the best sources of income used for investment and recycling of money by organised crime.”

Rosy Bindi who heads the Italian Parliament’s anti-mafia commission quotes the chief prosecutor in Florence Giuseppe Creazzo who says Malta did not cooperate.

“We wanted to break up this crime ring but Malta would not freeze their accounts. If we manage to get over these issues and if we would still be in time, we will freeze their assets in Malta as well”.