Maltese politicians are interfering in law enforcement – report

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Politicians in Malta are systematically interfering in the authority related to law enforcement, according to a report related to the corruption in the country.

The report was compiled  by a researcher from Pisa University and was published in a journal about organised crime. The reports says that Malta has become the centre of criminality. It further states that there is an alarming connection between unregularised economies, corruption and help from friends of friends.

According to the article, ever since its Independence, Malta has not invested in the development of a structure which enforces law efficiently. Local observers said that the security sector lacks staff and resources. This is not enough to fight the threats for the security of the region and its surroundings.

The report says that Malta provides an attractive site for organised crime. Why?

Those who would not be able to introduce illicit money in the European market, focus on Malta to make succeed in this attempt through the European Union

The international supply caters for local needs of political entrepreneurs who would want to expand their list of clients

Locals who use threats and violence to work ensure that dubious transactions are protected from interference from the authorities

The report mentions four sectors of extra-legal economies:

  • The citizienship by investment scheme
  • The gaming industry
  • The trafficking of fuel smuggled from Libya
  • Money-laundering in relation with Pilatus Bank

According to the report, for a person to buy a passport, one would need to make investments of around €1.5 million in the island. More than thousand people acquired Maltese passports through the citizenship investment scheme which was introduced in 2014. The scheme saw €2 billion in profits. This amounts to more than 15% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Henley and Partners allegedly enjoyed around €20 million in profits. It was also said that there were Maltese politcians whose career started depending on the profits from the passports industry.

The report included a reminder that the gaming sector started in 2004 when Lawrence Gonzi was Prime Minister (PN). He had introduced the first regulations of online gaming in the European Union. In 2018, the sector was worth €1.2 billion and it employed more than 8,000 people on the island.

Various criminal groups take advantage from the loose regulations and tried to use betting companies based in Malta as an attempt to take control over the territories. It was also said that gambling generated twenties of millions of illicit euros annually.

What were the report’s conclusions?

The are links between the money that pass through systems external to the law and the shadow state governance which have been in Malta for the last 15 years.

The snatching of certain political resources can help in having those in power to acquire more power thanks to the availability of public services, welfare and employment. There is also the systematic political interference in law enforcement so that certain transactions are protected.

The report was compiled by the researcher Luca Raineri. It was published in the European Review of Organised Crime.