Police overtime: 41 arrested, 31 on police bail, 7 resigned

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.

The number of police officials arrested over suspected overtime abuse has risen to 41, the police said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

31 police officers were granted police bail and suspended. The number of resignations handed in rose to seven, the police said. All resignations have been accepted. Among those who resigned, was Police Superintendent Walter Spiteri who was reinstated in 2017.

The probe into the Traffic Unit started after a whistleblower drew attention to the alleged racket.

In its statement the police said that “overtime” referred to extra-duty. Extra-duty would be given to other officers while other police officers were off-duty.

The investigation continues. A magisterial inquiry was appointed into the case.

Former Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia dismissed calls to shoulder political responsibility, claiming that he took action when he received the letter from the whistleblower. In his comments to the press, Farrugia said that it was up to those who signed and approved this overtime who should shoulder political responsibility.