Maltese and Chinese state-owned energy company Enemalta plc has been forced to hand over an internal report about the criminal Montenegro (Mozura) wind-farm deal, thanks to freedom of information requests filed independently by The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation and Times of Malta. The audit report by Mamo TCV Advocates was concluded in 2021 but was kept hidden by Enemalta until now.
Enemalta bought the Montenegro wind farm concession for €10.3 million in December 2015, three times the €2.9 million paid just two weeks earlier by Cifidex, the anonymous offshore vehicle registered in the Seychelles. An investigation by Times of Malta and Reuters later uncovered how Cifidex was owned by Turab Musayev, who sat on the Electrogas board alongside Yorgen Fenech at the time of the share transfer to Enemalta.
The suppressed 2021 audit report found that Enemalta:
- did not conduct proper due diligence into the beneficial ownership of Cifidex to identify potential conflicts of interest;
- did not seek a legal opinion from a reputable law firm confirming that the shares in Cifidex could be legally sold without hindrance;
- knew that Cifidex was itself still in the process of acquiring the Mozura wind-farm for €2.9 million when it purchased the shares from Cifidex for more than triple that amount;
- agreed to a non-standard limitation on liability (that Mamo TCV’s report says the firm had never seen in any other contract) protecting Cifidex from claims of overpayment;
- had no policies or standards whatsoever to guide commercial acquisitions;
- deleted the emails of executives who left the company after involvement in the transaction;
- allowed members of the board of directors to use personal email accounts to conduct company business.
The freedom of information requests filed in 2022 for the 2021 audit report were refused. The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation took its case to the Information and Data Protection Commissioner who ruled that the report should be released. Lawyer Therese Comodini Cachia also filed an appeal on behalf of Times of Malta as part of a legal support programme for journalists set up and run by the Daphne Caruana Galizia foundation.
In December 2021, the parliament of Montenegro announced an inquiry into the Mozura wind-farm deal. Branka Bošnjak, the Vice-President of the Assembly had said the investigation is motivated by “the fact that this is a major international corruption scandal” and that “there is very important evidence of multimillion-dollar corruption in the project, which will additionally cost the state 115 million euros through a subsidised electricity contract for 12 years”.
- Konrad Mizzi behind Montenegro wind farm project, report confirms － Times of Malta
- Audit into purchase of Montenegro wind-farm found that Enemalta knew it was paying inflated price － Malta Independent
- Montenegro wind farm scandal: Enemalta’s due diligence was not up to standard, internal audit reveals － MaltaToday