There have been five thefts from Maltese embassies in the past three years, of which three were reported at the Malta High Commission in London last year, Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo confirmed.
In reply to a parliamentary question by Claudette Buttigieg, Bartolo confirmed that the thefts which took place in London were petty thefts: on two occasions, the perpetrators made off with a Maltese flag, which were valued at €66 and €280.89. On another occasion, bottles of beer and booze went missing during a reception which took place in the sixth floor of the High Commission building in Piccadilly; however, in this case, the value of the stolen goods could not be provided.
Though all three incidents were reported to the authorities, no perpetrator has been caught.
The biggest theft, in monetary terms, was reported in Malta’s Embassy in the Netherlands. A total of €12,050 in cash and debit cards had been stolen from the embassy building in The Hague in 2017.
However, on this occasion, two persons were arrested over the theft. Both were found guilty, jailed and ordered to pay back what they had stolen, which they are doing in instalments.
A theft had also been reported in Malta’s embassy in Tripoli in 2017: various items worth a total of €4,548 had been stolen.
Though a police report was filed, no investigations took place, as the Maltese government refused to allow the Libyan police to access the embassy, in light of the country’s political situation.