40 Malta police held in fraud probe
Published : Thursday, 13 February, 2020 at 9:02 PM Count : 123
Some 40 members of the police traffic section have been arrested so far as part of an investigation into alleged fraud, the police said, according to Times of Malta.
The investigation was exclusively revealed by Times of Malta on Tuesday morning.
In a statement in the evening, the police said investigations are continuing. They are being carried out by the Economic Crimes Unit.
An internal police investigation into overtime abuse has widened to include a number of other units in the force.
Sources said that what had first started as an investigation into the police traffic unit had now spread to district officers and other departments where similar irregularities were suspected to have taken place.
Times of Malta was unable to confirm tip-offs from within the corps that as many as 300 officers were being investigated internally.
The investigation is focused on overtime abuse in what is considered to be a major racket revealed by a whistleblower. Several members of the corps had allegedly been claiming overtime for jobs they never reported for or carried out.
The police said a contingency plan had been prepared to ensure that traffic laws will continue to be enforced.
Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri, when questioned by Times of Malta, would not say whether officers from other sections were also involved in the racket. He said he always insisted that any alleged wrongdoing, whoever it might involve, had to be investigated.
Prime Minister Robert Abela said it was good that the police force was investigating its own people.
“This confirms that we have a functioning police force. If these investigations lead to people being taken to court or to disciplinary action being taken, then that is what will happen,” Dr Abela said.
The police repeated their call, first made in the morning, for anyone having any information about abuse to come forward, phone 2294 2201 or email [email protected]