Selling public land for bribes

Silvio Schembri

When Robert Abela chose his first cabinet in 2020 he had originally removed some government entities from the Ministry for Economy. Silvio Schembri who received the news that he would once again be given the same Ministry portfolio in a meeting with the Prime Minister at Castille, replied to Robert angrily, “U jien x’ser nieħu?”

Silvio Schembri’s retort was undoubtedly triggered by anger. Having supported Robert Abela in his leadership bid, Silvio felt entitled to his own personal toys, so Robert Abela gave him LANDS to appease him. Silvio Schembri was very happy with this decision and made the best out of it, mainly by setting up a corrupt shop for public land in exchange for bribes. Silvio Schembri’s scheme is very simple. He allocates public land to his contractors and to his sponsors while other allocations of public land to other parties are given on the condition that they are developed by his sponsors such as GAP or Joseph Portelli. In exchange for his allocations, Silvio Schembri receives property fronted by his friends and allies. In fact, one of the reasons why Silvio Schembri invited Kurt Buhagiar to his private party in his Ministry’s office in 2021, is that Schembri also received a donation from Kurt Buhagiar in 2017.

Silvio Schembri is currently, the most trusted ally of Robert Abela and this is why Robert plans to push him as his successor. This would also be ideal for Robert Abela because it would guarantee him the cover-up of all the corrupt deals and relationships with building contractors. The continuation of corrupt deals with regard to public land would come easy with a Silvio Schembri succession because both of them have their own personnel and allies controlling LANDS. While Robert Abela has his own man leading LANDS, Silvio Schembri has the likes of Yanica Abela and the Labour Party can count on others such as Annabelle Brincat Stellini (finance manager at LANDS). These officials are conjuring, aiding, and abetting Silvio Schembri’s corrupt land deals.

Much more of Silvio Schembri’s corruption is yet to unfold as he and his friends have become blinded by their arrogance and over-confidence. Silvio thought that he could hide his illicit-gotten wealth easily, fronted by old connections and past friends, but the only problem for him is that Malta is a very small place and sooner or later we all get to discover each other’s secrets, and Silvio has many.


  1. When Silvio Schembri first took over the Lands Authority besides installing his hencemen Robert Vella at the helm he gave instructions that nothing gets done, no cases or processes concluded without auhtorisation from his Ministry. It did not matter to him that there are thousands of pending cases concerning recognitions, compensation for lands expropriation, lease of rural government land (qbiela) and the registering of land and property handed over to the Government by the Church to the Jointed office. After 30 years It is estimated that only one third of church property has so far been registered by the Joint Office. Common citizens go true hell and have to suffer countless delays and procastrinations to have their requests or processes concluded. But it is not the case when the likes of the Zammit Tabonas, Gap, Stivala etc require government property or land for exploitation and commercial gain.
    Being the former champion of block chain technology and algoritms one would have expected that this mastermind would expedite the introduction of such technology at the Lands Authority and Joint office. Of course this would have enabled the Maltese nation to have a proper up-to-date inventory of the nation’s Land and property assets besides a foolproof audit trail of all processes involved. So far they have not even concluded the digitilisation of the Lands Auhtority’s hard files. With no end in sight. Apart from the online application process the majority of back office work is still carried out manually using hard files. All the dedicated hard work and efforts to expedite cases comes to a screeching stop once they need to be processed by the Authority’s legal department led by non other than Dr Ramona Attard the president of the so called Labout Party.

  2. After what the country has been through in
    the 80’s, I never imagined we would come back to all this! What a country we’re living in!

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. It’s a property racket and the construction industry has more power as a result – Mark Camilleri
  2. More news from the real-estate mafia – Mark Camilleri

Leave a Reply