‘Cocaine party’ at Ħal Far barracks; soldier dismissed

Updated 09:07 PM
Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A soldier has been dismissed following his refusal to comply with a drug test. This comes after allegations of a cocaine party within the Ħal Far barracks.

This was confirmed in a statement issued by the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM). The statement outlined that an internal inquiry has been instated into this alleged party, and that soldiers on shift that day were asked to comply with a drug test. All did but one, and he was dismissed on the spot. The rest resulted negative.

The story first broke after Godwin Schembri, an ex-soldier, posted a series of questions to AFM Commander Jeffrey Curmi. Schembri had been dismissed for a viral video where he drove around a gate that did not have an adjoining fence, while making disparaging comments about his senior officers.

#Brigadier #Curmi ircevejt din l informazzjoni minn ghand Suldat iservi gewwa l "B Company" gewwa Hal Far. IL post li…

Posted by Godwin Schembri on Monday, August 17, 2020

He took to Facebook to ask Curmi whether this story was true, and whether the soldier (whom he identified as ‘Galea’) has been dismissed for refusing the drug test.

Schembri outlined that a cocaine party had allegedly happened around 2 weeks ago that involved an entire shift of soldiers. He mentioned a soldier by name, Galea, as having tried to leave the barracks to purchase more cocaine, but was stopped by the soldier manning the gate since he didn’t have a gate pass. He then outlined that once Galea realised that he was not being allowed to leave, he got out of the car and started hitting and even biting the other soldier, to the point where a team of soldiers had to intervene and arrest him. Allegedly this Galea was then asked to comply with a drug test there and then, but he refused. Furthermore, the soldiers on shift with him were not asked to comply with a drug test on that same day, but rather two days later. He outlined all this in the form of questions directed towards Curmi.

Schembri went on to ask whether Galea had been serving at the Malta International Airport (MIA) in uniform just a couple of months ago, and whether he had been violent with Police Officers in an establishment, showing a lack of control as exhibited on the day of the alleged cocaine party. Furthermore, Schembri asked whether it’s true that Galea was found guilty of violence towards Police Officers, was not dismissed or even reprimanded, but yet was let go by the MIA. Furthermore, Schembri alleged that not only had Curmi not reprimanded Galea, but rather gave him a cushy job with access to a gun.

Schembri concluded his post by stating that the AFM Commander ought to resign as the cocaine party is his responsibility to take on. This is because he should have dismissed Galea following the Court’s decree, outlining that a tragedy might have occurred two weeks ago during that party.

“Minister for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement has a lot to answer for” – PN

The Nationalist Party (PN) stated that Minister for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement Byron Camilleri has a lot to answer for regarding this incident.

The party outlined that since tests were not immediately requested of those who were present, traces that might have been there might have ceased to exist. Furthermore, this alleged party has been kept under wraps by both the Commander as well as Camilleri for the past two weeks.

The party asked Camilleri to clarify a series of questions:

  • Why it is that the incident was kept a secret for two weeks
  • Whether he knows if there were further instances
  • Whether the Police knows and is investigating what happened
  • And whether it’s true that Galea already had a criminal record but was protected by the AFM.

“PN are being hastily partisan” – PL

The Labour Party (PL) stated that the PN is being hastily partisan with the statement issued regarding this incident. This is because the party was concerned with what was being said on social media.

The party said that the AFM has always showed that it abides by its strict regulations, and that all necessary steps will be taken following the conclusion of the inquiry, should they be needed.