An investigation into an “overtime racket” involving at least 34 traffic officers is nothing but a numbers-boosting exercise ahead of a European evaluation, Maltese data miner and journalist Matthew Caruana Galizia has said.
“I’m glad that the traffic police ‘scandal’ is being busted open for what it is: a lazy, despicable way for the Economic Crimes Unit to boost their money-laundering case numbers ahead of an evaluation by European institutions,” Caruana Galizia said.
His comments come after an investigation into the racket made international headlines back in February when over half of Malta’s traffic corps were implicated in serious allegations of fraud, money laundering and even forgiving fines for sexual favours.
However, just yesterday, Lovin Malta exclusively revealed how, three months later, no charges had been brought against the officers who now suspect they are being thrown under the bus to cover up for something else.
The investigation was announced after Robert Abela replaced Joseph Muscat as Prime Minister of Malta and former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri had resigned – something which Caruana Galizia noted.
“The ECU have not even pressed charges against the man who literally defrauded the state out of thousands of euros to give Melvin Theuma a fake job, to pay him for his work as a murder middleman,” he continued.
When speaking of evaluations, Caruana Galiza was referencing the Council of Europe’s MoneyVal evaluation into money laundering investigations – an exam Malta failed last time around.
Caruana ended his comment with a direct challenge to the head of the Economic Crimes Unit.
“So you tell me, dear Ian Abdilla of the ECU, what is the difference between Sandro Craus, Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi and Officer Zero of the traffic police? Answer in the comments below,” he ended.
And it’s not just Caruana Galizia – suspicions over the true motivation of the investigation into the rackets have been raised over the last few days, with PN MP Jason Azzopardi similarly calling for justice in this case.