A MAN from Gibraltar has admitted to owning a £200,000 yacht police seized in 2020 during a money laundering investigation and could now face jail time.

John Spiro Azzopardi, 69, of Crutchetts Ramp, pleaded guilty to Concealing Criminal Property, putting an early end to the Supreme Court trial.

Supreme Court judges acquitted his daughter, Kyra Azzopardi, 41, of money laundering after prosecutors offered no evidence.

The landmark case was seen as a fruit of cross-border police cooperation.

Other than owning the boat, both defendants were originally accused of transferring large amounts of money believed to be from criminal activities.

“The RGP will look to remove the proceeds of crime away from criminals,” Detective Chief Inspector Tom Tunbridge of the Royal Gibraltar Police’s Economic crime Unit said.

“Pursuing assets from organised crime groups is a priority for us.”

The case comes after recent studies by financial crime enforcement groups like MoneyVal reported that Gibraltar does not do enough to fight money laundering,

“In this case, we’ve seized a £200,000 yacht to show that crime does not pay,” Tunbridge said.

“The result also shows that we are effective in tackling money laundering on the Rock, which supports our MoneyVal and Financial Action Task Force evaluation process,” he added.


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