Business venture

Keith Schembri has set up a new business venture just three days after the disgraced former PM resigned

Just three days after disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat resigned as leader of the Labor Party at the end of Malta’s 2019 political crisis, his former chief of staff Keith Schembri was already setting up a new business.

Navis Logistics was established on January 15, 2020, the day after months of protests demanding Muscat’s resignation and led to the appointment of current Prime Minister Robert Abela. The premises of the company are located in the Bulebel industrial zone in Żejtun.

The company’s sole shareholder is Kasco Holdings, a company owned by Keith Schembri. Navis Logistics’ board includes Malcolm Scerri, Schembri’s business partner, and his father Alfio Schembri.

Schembri and his father Alfio, along with his business partner Scerri, are currently the subject of legal proceedings related to the Progress Press case in which Schembri is accused of using offshore companies to pay around $5.5 million. dollars back to himself, Scerri and former Allied Newspapers executives. Adrian Hillman and Vincent Buhagiar, among others holding senior positions in the company. Progress Press is part of the Allied Newspapers group.

While Scerri received at least $350,000 from an offshore company that Keith Schembri used to move money, Malmos Ltd, a police inspector involved in the investigation, said Alfio Schembri had no idea. documents he signed in his capacity as director of the company.

Navis Logistics’ financial accounts have not been filed with the Malta Companies Registry since its inception, with virtually no trace of tangible information about the company’s activities online and no official website documenting its activities.

Navis Logistics’ memorandum of association states that the primary reason the company was formed was “to undertake the handling and transportation of all types of documents and other related, similar and associated articles, objects and materials in and or to all parts of Malta or abroad”. .

The authorized share capital of the company amounts to €1,200 divided into 1,200 ordinary shares of €1 per share. Navis Logistics is a partial match with a US-based software company specializing in the technology used to operate terminals and port systems known as Navis, but no direct link has been confirmed at the time of writing .

The software company’s website does not list a Malta-based subsidiary or partner, leaving open questions as to whether Schembri’s company is affiliated there or simply has a similar name. Contact has been made with the software company to determine if there is an official affiliation between the two.

On April 21, The Shift published an article based on indications that the cogs of Schembri’s business empire were back in motion following a wave of filings with Malta’s Companies Registry, although no recent audited account is actually available.

The disgraced former prime minister’s chief of staff resigned on November 26, 2019 following reports that he was being questioned by police over the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia as well as calls for his dismissal shortly after he withdrew a defamation case against Simon Busuttil, then leader of the opposition.

Schembri became a person of interest in the Caruana Galizia murder investigation after being mentioned by the intermediary involved in the commission of the murder, Melvin Theuma, as well as the man believed to have ordered the murder, Yorgen Fenech.

Theuma won a presidential pardon to tell all about the assassination plot, while Fenech had abandoned Schembri when he faced police questioning after trying to escape Malta on November 20, 2019.

The withdrawal of the defamation case against Busuttil, which was brought by Schembri, following the former opposition leader’s statements about Fenech’s bribes to Schembri via the now infamous 17 Black and its connection to the Electrogas project, allowed Schembri to avoid being cross-examined. in class.