MGA Executive fired for snatching data
Published: December 30, 2021
The Times of Malta has reported the police are investigating a former Malta Gaming Authority executive. He was caught in the act while abusing classified internal company information.
Jason Farrugia, the enterprise’s former Chief Technology Officer, has accessed sensitive and confidential information. The irregularities were discovered during the routine review of Farrugia’s devices, finding he had been relocating the sensitive data to his personal account.
The agents are currently looking to determine his intentions regarding the data. Farrugia resigned after ten years at the agency, being told he would be sacked and reported to the police.
The regulator issued an official statement that Farrugia was no longer with the company. This situation is another instance in a series of scandals to rock European foremost gaming regulation authority.
Responsible for 12% of Malta’s GDP, the agency was exposed to another scandal in January 2021, when the former CEO resigned. He was accused of corruption and sensitive trading with Yorgen Fenech, a controversial businessman suspected in a murder case.
A journalist killed in a bomb attack in 2017, Daphne Caruana Galizia, was murdered for investigating government corruption. There was a suspicious grant of an energy contract to Fenech’s company.
Fenech, one of the wealthiest people in Malta, was arrested in 2019 while trying to flee the country. The police have revealed compromising conversations he had with Farrugia on his phone, while a middleman said he had ordered the hit.
The businessman vehemently denied those charges, although things did not look good for him. Farrugia supplied Fenech with confidential information about rival operators, although it is not clear what he received in return. The scandal was hidden from the public until the Times discovered it.
Malta has attracted operators for a long time due to EU membership and competitive taxes. However, it has become a suspicious financial-crime-breeding ground, and the first graylisted EU state.
The entire economy, online gaming included, could suffer serious repercussions, with the companies posing a presumably much higher risk than before. This scandal is bound to endanger Malta’s appeal as an online gaming jurisdiction in the future.
About Malta Gaming Authority
MGA is the sole regulatory body in charge of all the gaming activities in Malta and one of the preferred remote gaming regulators worldwide. It connects the online casinos’ needs with knowledge of gaming practice and legislation.
The agency tries to ensure transparent and fair gaming, preventing corruption, money laundering and crime. Protecting vulnerable and minor players is another seminal objective of the enterprise.