Two hundred beds were found at the stables in Marsa which were converted to house foreign workers.
The premises were raided yesterday morning by the authorities and 37 migrants were arrested, most likely facing deportation.
The Planning Authority said the stables had been converted into 19 small accommodation quarters of approximately 20 sqm, each housing at least 12 people.
“The foreigners cooked, washed and slept in conditions that were a health hazard not only due to being significantly overcrowded but also as they lacked adequate sanitary facilities. In total, two hundred beds were found in the units. ”
“Given that a number of workers had already left for work prior to the start of the operation, throughout the day the Authorities will provide access for the workers to return and collect their possessions.”
The PA said its officers would monitor the site to ensure that the stables operate according to their permitted use.
Meanwhile, the stable owner has defended his actions and attacked the authorities for turning up unannounced.
In an interview with One News he claimed he rented out one room per person.
“Before I had horses, and then I started to rent it to these,” he said, referring to the migrant workers who he also referred to as “blacks” in his interview.
He accused the authorities of destroying the doors all over the property.
The man was not arrested because a breach to the Planning Regulation is technically not a criminal offence. The police have yet to say whether the man will be charged with housing illegal immigrants or any other offence.