Three top executives at Italy’s second largest online gambling company, Malta-registered SKS365, left suddenly, the Times of Malta is informed.
As the Italian police and judiciary continue to probe suspicions of mafia money being laundered through a Maltese-registered gambling company, SKS365 announced that its CEO, Ian McLoughlin, its general counsel Angela Gemma and its chief financial controller, Aaron Meli, resigned.
No reasons were given for the sudden departure although a spokesman said they had moved to pastures new.
The Malta-registered company, operating through a licence issued by the Malta Gaming Authority, was last November implicated in a high-profile anti-mafia operation by the Italian police.
A number of mafia bosses from southern Italian regions were arrested in connection with the running of illegal gambling operations across the regions, particularly Sicily, through the use of gaming parlours operating under the ‘Planetwin 365’ gambling mark, owned by SKS365 Malta Holding Ltd, registered two years ago in Swieqi.
According to the Malta Financial Services Authority’s registry, the gambling company is owned by three Dutch companies, including one registered in Curaçao, who bought it after the activities that are being investigated
The ongoing investigations, which have not yet produced any convictions, are seeking to establish whether the Malta-registered company and another four Italian operators had their sites used to conduct money laundering by the mafia, processing over €4.5 billion in bets using laundered funds.
The Italian investigators accused the operators of “knowingly acting” as money-laundering vehicles for the mafia network connected directly to three criminal clans.
In a statement immediately following news of the Italian anti-mafia operation, SKS365 clarified that the police were investigating operations that were carried out before the company was bought by new owners.
Dutch investment firm Ramphastos had confirmed its full support and collaboration with the authorities in the fight against illegal gaming and made it clear the new owners of Planetwin365 had replaced all key managerial roles within the new set-up by new members of management that respected regularised corporate values.
This was also confirmed by the Italian judicial officials. The office of Reggio Calabria’s prosecutor’s office said that their investigations into SKS365 “concerned only the property/management that guided the company until 2017, before its sale to new owners, against whom no elements of responsibility have emerged”.