Times of Malta

Publish internal probe you claim found no abuse, PN tells TM

Party insists it has evidence that proves otherwise


The Nationalis­t Party wants Transport Malta to publish an internal investigat­ion which the authority claims found no evidence of abuse within its maritime enforcemen­t section.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday following a MaltaToday exposé, the PN’s maritime spokespers­on, Ivan Castillo said the party has no faith in the internal probe that was said to have found no wrongdoing and is demanding it is published.

“Transport Malta is claiming its internal investigat­ion did not find signs of meddling but the evidence we have proves otherwise,” he said.

“We demand the publicatio­n of the internal investigat­ion, along with how it was carried out and the names of the investigat­ors.”

On Sunday, MaltaToday reported that senior Transport Malta officials are at the centre of a corruption racket in which they allegedly dropped maritime fines in exchange for bribes.

It said at least three officials within the maritime enforcemen­t unit had tampered with the fines and that, in 2021 alone, 59% of Transport Malta fines issued to sea vessels were “lost”.

“The PN is informed figures for 2022 and 2023 are even worse,” Castillo added.

When asked about the case, Transport Malta told MaltaToday that an internal inquiry board had concluded there was no evidence of tampering with fines.

But evidence seen by the PN and journalist­s indicated otherwise, Castillo said. He added that the government cannot clamp down on abuse as it is being kept hostage by some Transport Malta officials.

This was only the latest in a series of rackets and scandalous allegation­s coming out of Transport Malta, PN’s transport spokespers­on, Mark Anthony Sammut said, adding that, throughout months of revelation­s, the only changes made were replacemen­ts of the minister and the CEO. But the government is not doing nearly enough to stop abuse at TM.

“We don’t trust this investigat­ion and we have reason to believe it was compromise­d,” Sammut said.

“We have evidence showing officials were forced to lie under oath and that the board of inquiry members were in contact with witnesses who were testifying before them.” He also claimed the police have been “lethargic” on the case, “as they often are whenever politician­s or people close to them are implicated in abuse investigat­ions”.

“The police commission­er must assure us that we’re living in a country where the law applies equally to everyone because the evidence so far indicates that this is not the case,” PN’s home affairs spokespers­on, Darren Carabott added.

“I hope no direction was given to keep some people from being prosecuted.”

The police have confirmed they are investigat­ing the case.

 ?? ?? Nationalis­t MPs Mark Anthony Sammut, Ivan Castillo and Darren Carabott (from left) at yesterday’s press conference. PHOTO: PN
Nationalis­t MPs Mark Anthony Sammut, Ivan Castillo and Darren Carabott (from left) at yesterday’s press conference. PHOTO: PN

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