A chief officer at Identity Malta has urged the police to clamp down on people who exploit the vulnerability of migrants who lack adequate work permits.
“People are living in filth and without any documentation, renting and working without permits and continuously subjected to exploitation,” Ryan Spagnol said in a private Facebook post which was shown to Lovin Malta. “Meanwhile, the media cannot keep up with all the cases of robberies from elderly people’s homes and luxury properties.”
“Ah well, at least the AFM and a bunch of police officers are doing the rounds in the countryside in the hope of ensnaring a hunter or a trapper? What are these if not upside down priorities?”
Spagnol was airing his own personal opinion and not that of Identity Malta.
His comment was made after police evicted around 50 sub-Saharan African migrants from a small apartment block in Qormi, the latest case in which Africans were found living in poor conditions. According to The Times of Malta, the room only contained mattresses and the migrants’ belongings stuffed in suitcases.
A migrant said he paid €150 a month to stay there, which means the landlord stood to earn €7,500 a month had he applied the same fee to all residents.
The migrants will be sent back to Italy, where they had travelled to Malta from but ended up overstaying their legal welcome. Third-country nationals travelling to Malta from another Schengen state are allowed to stay for up to three months without any visa checks but are not allowed to work.
Yet migrants who cannot find work in Italy, where unemployment stands at 10.5%, are often tempted to try out their luck in Malta, where it stands at a mere 3.5%.
Cover photo: One News footage