Four men who were being investigated for allegedly defrauding a group of Pakistani nurses at Mater Dei Hospital have been released, with two of them being handed down a fine of €200 for breach of employment law.
The men were accused of intimidating the nurses through violence and harassment, as well as breaking the law, back in 2011,
During that same year, the Ministry of Health had issued a call for applications for employment as nurses to address staff shortages at Mater Dei Hospital. Several Pakistani nurses had applied for the jobs through a recruitment agency in Pakistan called Deluxe Company Ltd, which had made the necessary arrangements for the registration of candidates in Malta.
Chrism Services Ltd, a company in Seychelles represented by two of the accused, was in charge of facilitating the transfer of the selected candidates.
Each nurse was asked to pay €3,000, plus €120 a month for rent and €85 per month from the thirteenth month of employment until the end of their contract. After these nurses spoke to their Maltese counterparts, they were told that this kind of contract may be illegal and subsequently, they complained to the local authorities.
However, throughout the criminal proceedings against the four men, it was established that there was no illegality or irregularity in the recruitment process. The agency contract with Chrism Services Ltd has been terminated and the nurses were given back the payments that they had made.
The Court also held that there was no evidence of violence. Moreover, the judge noted that all nurses had agreed to the terms of their contract before arriving in Malta.
After considering all the evidence, the Court stated that the four men were innocent of the charges against them. Two of the accused were found guilty of violating employment law and were fined €200 each.