Officials stated that more than half of Malta's traffic police force on February 11 were arrested for allegedly committing a crime of overtime fraud. According to reports, the arrest of the traffic police force prompted authorities to implement emergency measures to make sure that they had a substantial number of officers deployed on the streets.
According to reports, around 30 officers of the traffic police unit which has a strength of 50, were being interrogated by the Economic Crimes Unit over claims that they had filed for completing hundreds of hours of overtime work that they did not carry out over a time period of at least three years. A few of the accused traffic officers were also subject to allegations of using fuel sanctioned for police work for their own personal agendas.
According to reports, former traffic police officers working in different sections of the police force were instructed to join their old duties. However, the attempt to deploy enough traffic police on the road somewhat failed when a motorist said that he saw fewer police officers on the road after the arrest of the accused officers.
According to reports, Malta's Prime Minister, Robert Abela said that it was a good thing that the police force had launched an investigation looking into the case of their own people. Abela further added that the investigation confirmed that Malta had an active and a 'functioning' police force. He also said that even if the accused officers are taken to court or disciplinary action is taken against them then that is what will happen to justify their unjust actions.
Abela was appointed as the 14th Prime Minister of Malts after his predecessor stepped down from his position over the way he handled investigation launched to look into the brutal murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Malta is the smallest nation in the European Union and frequently been plagued by issued of widespread corruption, fraudulent practices, and cronyism by people belonging to both the business and political spheres.
(With Agency Inputs)