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‘Is It Because I’m Not Maltese?’: Venezuelan Courier Assaulted And Beaten In Ħamrun Over €3 Delivery Fee

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A food delivery driver was assaulted by a customer, leaving him with a black eye and some doubt about the effectiveness of local policing. 

The incident happened on September 17th when the Venezuelan driver, who started working a day prior to the assault, received a food order from a resident in Ħamrun. 

Though the food order was for €16, the total bill came to €19 including the delivery charge. Although the driver explained the additional charge to the customer, the customer refused to pay, asked for his money back and then proceeded to punch the driver in the eye.

“The customer complained and then hit him in the eye,” the driver’s boss, Billy Elshrief, told Lovin Malta.

“The driver then pushed him away and started running, leaving his scooter and bag behind. The customer and his friend then followed him and attacked him again, tore his t-shirt and pushed him to the floor and started to kick him,” he said.

Luckily, a nearby driver witnessed the incident and instantly reported it to the company’s office.

“I told him to pick up the driver and bring him here. When I saw him, I was shocked,” he said.

“I took him to the police station and told them what happened but the police officer just looked at me and said ‘what do you want me to do?’”

It is standard procedure in Malta that, when an assault occurs, the victim goes to a polyclinic to acquire a medical certificate before a police report can be filed.

However, the lack of empathy shown by the police officer left the Venezuelan driver wondering whether it was his race that led to her inaction.

“He asked me whether it was because he wasn’t Maltese that they aren’t doing anything,” Billy said.

“When the police didn’t take any action that day, he felt that way. I promised him that I will do whatever I can do to support him.”

The Venezuelan driver has since obtained a medical certificate and a police report has been filed.

“The police officer who ended up taking the report was really nice,” Billy continued. “We tried calling the customer but he didn’t answer.”

“The driver has a black eye and some chest pain as well as a headache from the hit and is now recovering at home. His eye is technically closed from the incident,” he ended.  

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a driver has been assaulted on the job this year. Last month, it was reported that bus drivers were being assaulted multiple times a week stemming from disputes related to face masks.

What do you make of this incident? Let us know in the comments below

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