Alleged police fraud making international headlines

Updated 03:20 PM

40 police officers arrested; 25 suspended and granted police bail

A traffic police officer directs traffic in Kappara, Malta February 5, 2014. Picture taken February 5, 2014. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Thursday morning, Police said that 40 police officers within the traffic section have been arrested and 25 have been suspended and granted police bail.

Police said that 4 police officers have submitted their resignation. Their resignations have been accepted by the Police Corps.

Reacting to the latest developments on the investigation on the alleged fraud by police officers within the traffic section, was former Police Commissioner John Rizzo.

On Wednesday Rizzo has shared on Facebook a quote saying “Not all Police Officers are Bad”.

Around 40 police officers are being investigated for suspected overtime abuse and that some of the traffic police also face accusations they misappropriated fuel and used it for their own private vehicles.

The alleged fraud by over 30 police officers within the traffic section has been making headlines in international news. The New York Times and Reuters are reporting how in Malta police officers are being investigated for suspected overtime abuse and that some of the traffic police also face accusations they misappropriated fuel and used it for their own private vehicles.

The New York Times and Reuters reported how Malta has been struggling with an image problem in recent years, following allegations of widespread corruption, cronyism and financial wrongdoing amongst the political and business elite.

The traffic police investigation was opened following a whistleblower’s letter to the police commissioner detailing how officers were cashing in on duties they never performed.

Reuters and The New York Times refer to Walter Spiteri, the head of the traffic police force, who submitted his resignation as he is suspected allegedly for claiming for motorcycle-related allowances even though he used a chauffeur-driven car.

Reuters has reported how Prime Minister Robert Abela said it was good that the police were investigating their own people because “this confirms that we have a functioning police force” – Robert Abela told reporters.

On the other hand, the opposition, the Nationalist Party, told Reuters that the police had been undermined by the same “culture of corruption and impunity” evident in many walks of life.

On Wednesday, motorists said there were noticeably fewer police directing traffic even though former traffic police have been asked to return to their old duties, according to police sources.

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