Tag Archives: Top News

Malta, two arrested for cocaine trafficking

VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese judicial authorities have opened a magisterial inquiry following the arrest of two young foreigners. The arrest took place on Saturday evening after the Maltese police confiscated a significant amount of drugs on the catamaran upon its arrival in Valletta from Pozzallo.
The police said the people under arrest were a 24-year-old man from Moldova and an 18-year-old girl from Russia.
They were arrested by the Anti-Drug Squad Police as soon as they got off the catamaran. The police had received some information and searched the car. The cocaine was found in the petrol tank and was distributed in 25 packs for a value of approximately 2.2 million euros.

– photo credit: Police of Malta –

(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Council of Europe, vote on a resolution on Malta

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Attempts by Maltese Members of Parliament representing the Maltese Government to tone down a damning resolution on Malta by the Council of Europe has failed following the approval of only two amendments out of ten presented to the Council or Europès Assembly.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) resolution while noted the “culture of impunity and institutional omerta in Malta”, called upon the Maltese authorities to fully address the concerns and recommendations expressed in the report by the independent public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
The resolution also noted that despite reforms, the prime minister maintains considerable control over the civil service, which “undermines” its independence from political forces.
“A key concern in this respect is the excessively high number of political appointees, also known as persons of trust, in Maltàs civil service, which are appointed bypassing the legal civil service appointments procedures. The high number of political appointees, and lack of legal regulations governing these positions, increases the vulnerability of Maltàs civil service to conflicts of interest and cronyism”.
The Parliamentary Assembly showed “a key concern on the continuing vulnerability of Maltàs public sector to corruption. The resolution says that despite the high perception of corruption there has been little visible response and a coherent overall strategy to prevent corruption in public institutions is lacking. “This has created a culture of impunity. Overcoming this culture of impunity and institutional omerta is one of the key challenges facing the Maltese society and its democratic institutions and should be addressed as a matter of utmost priority”.
The resolution also notes that the Council of Europès assembly “is concerned about the vulnerability to corruption and money laundering of Maltàs ‘citizenship by investment programmè and calls on Malta to abolish this programme.”
The resolution highlights concerns on the polarised media environment and the challenges faced by the media, including direct threats to journalists, that negatively affect press freedom in Malta.
“It therefore welcomes the recent establishment of a Committee of Experts on Media with a view to strengthening media freedom in Malta. The abuse of anti-defamation legislation and Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) to silence journalists, is an issue of increasing concern that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency”.
However, the resolution welcomes a number of reforms introduced in recent years, including the changes in the appointment process of judges and magistrates, the reform of the prosecution service, separating the function of State advocate from that of the Attorney General and removing the Attorney General from the Commission for the Administration of Justice, which it says “are important steps to strengthen the independence and impartiality of the judiciary”.
– photo agenziafotogramma.it –
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Muscat tipped to lead Maltàs football Premier League clubs’ association

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS) – The association representing Maltàs football Premier League clubs will start formal talks with former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to appoint him as its chairman. The decision follows a vote which took place on Tuesday night among the 12 members of the Malta Professional Football Clubs Association.
While a number of football clubs were strongly opposed to the possibility of being represented by Muscat, it is understood that Valletta and Gudja are exploring of submitting alternative candidates.
If appointed as a Chairman of the Malta Professional Football Clubs Association, this would be Muscat’s first public role since he resigned from Prime Minister following widespread protests in 2019 linked to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. During his final speech in Parliament, Muscat expressed his desire to contribute to the Maltese sporting community. The Malta Professional Football Clubs Association was formed last year, with the aim of running the Premier League, currently managed by the Malta Football Association.
– foto Image –
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta remains an attraction for prospective investors

VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela declared that Maltàs removal from the Financial Action Task Force grey list confirms “Malta is a reputable and serious jurisdiction and will remain an attraction for prospective investors”.

Malta was voted off the grey list on Wednesday, one year after the country was included in the list as an untrustworthy financial jurisdiction.

Maltese Prime Minister said “a year ago I said Malta is committed to implement the reforms agreed with the FATF effectively and sustainably to bring a cultural change in a country which aimed at reaching higher standards. Today Malta stands as an example to other nations but our efforts will not stop here to fight money laundering, financing of terrorism and organised crime”.

While claiming that Malta should have never been grey-listed, Robert Abela added that his administration was convinced that it needed to implement a number of reforms in “record time”.

Marcus Pleyer, the President of the global anti-money laundering watchdog FATF said that Malta was taken off the list of jurisdictions following constant monitoring after the Maltese authorities completed the action plan which was agreed with FATF. However he warned that “Malta has more to do to strengthen its institutions and implement anti-money laundering laws”. He added “Malta must take advantage of this momentum and continue improving the implementation of its laws especially on proceeds derived from crime”.

In an action plan agreed with the international money laundering watchdog, Malta made a political commitment to focus its financial intelligence capabilities on tax evasion and money laundering and increase transparency on anonymous shell companies.

– photo credit agenziafotogramma.it –

(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta removed from the Fatf’s grey list

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Financial Action Task Force has voted to take Malta off its grey list, a year after it became the first-ever EU member state to be included in the list.
The decision was taken on Wednesday in a secret vote during a plenary meeting of the FATF in Berlin. However, the outcome of the secret vote will be made public at the end of the FATF plenary on Friday. Malta had been given an action plan to implement before it could be removed from the list. However the FATF will still expect the Maltese authorities to commit themselves to prevent financial crime beyond the end of today’s vote.
(ITALPRESS).
-foto agenziafotogramma.it-


Source: medNews

Malta, new variant of Omicron increasing Covid-19 cases

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS) – The Maltese health authorities confirmed an increase in new cases of COVID-19 caused by a new variant of Omicron which was detacted in Malta recently.
The health authorities have registered 187 new cases on Friday; the highest number of positive cases in two months and 166 new cases were confirmed on Saturday. With 98 recoveries, the number of active cases is 1,615. One death was confirmed over the past 24-hours, with the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic stands at 724.
Maltese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne said that the new variant ‘Omicron XE’ is more infectious. Minister Fearne said; “this could cause an increase in community transmission however until now, the health authorities are not encountering more severe symptoms or health complications.”
Omicron XE is a combination of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 and was first detected in January in the United Kingdom.

Foto: agenziafotogramma.it
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta elected member of the UN Security Council

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta was elected member of the United Nations Security Council for a period of two years starting on January, 1. The Mediterranean island secured the two-year term following an election among 190 voting member states. Malta got 185 votes – 97% of the total number of voting member states, with two abstentions and no incalid votes. Malta will be following three important principles: security, sustainability and solidarity. Malta will join nine other non-permanent members, with Switzerland, Ecuador, Japan and Mozambique all elected on Thursday. The other non-permanent members are Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirates.
The security council is made up of five permanent members – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China – and 10 elected, non-permanent members each serving two-year terms. As a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Malta is part of a group of ten other countries that take part in the discussion and have the right to vote but not the right of veto.
Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela tweeted “honoured to see Malta elected with a strong vote.” He added that this will offer Malta “a significant opportunity to contribute to the maintenance of global peace and security.”
Maltese Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg thanked all the countries that voted for Malta and reassured that Malta believes in the need for international peace and “truly embraces and will continue to safeguard the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter”. He added “we are determined to contribute towards preserving multilateral processes and building the confidence and political will needed to meet the challenges we face today. As staunch supporters of multilateralism, we have fundamental interest to maintain international order based on the important rule, that power and potency do not prevail over the rule of law. This is vital for everyone, including small states such as Malta”.
Malta has been elected on the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for the first time since 1983.

foto: xf3

(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Russian oil is still being shipped by Maltese companies

LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Russian oil is still being shipped by Maltese companies
Malta is one of three European Union member States with local shipping companies interested and involved in the transport shipment of Russian oil.
According to an investigation by international non-governmental organisation ‘Global Witness’ – shipping companies in Malta, Greece and Cyprus have practically doubled their shipments of Russian oil since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
The conclusions of the report were published by the UK weekly newspaper The Independent on Sunday. Louis Goddard, the senior data investigations adviser at Global Witness told the newspaper that ships linked to Greece, Cyprus and Malta are making a mockery of the EU effort to sanction Putin’s war machine. He said that in order to close this “gaping loophole”, the EU must “stand firm” against lobbying from all member states with vested interests in the Russian oil trade, as well as put restrictions on shipping at the heart of its sanctions regime.
An analysis by Global Witness of the shipping data gathered by Refinitiv confirms that since the Russian invasion of Ukraine – Malta, Greece and Cyprus have constanly increased the amount of oil transported from Russia.
The report also shows that shipments gave a huge financial boost to the Russian government by billions of dollars in oil revenue.
In February, when Russian troops invaded Ukraine, companies and vessels linked to the three Mediterranean countries shifted 31 million barrels of Russian oil. In May, that amount had increased to 58 million barrels. As from last February, ships linked to Greece, Malta and Cyprus have transported 178 million barrels, worth $17.3bn (€16.10bn) at current prices for Russian crude oil
In an address to the Maltese Parliament in May, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Malta to not allow itself to be abused by Russia and to stop allowing privileges to Russian nationals.
-photo agenziafotogramma.it
(ITALPRESS)


Source: medNews

Malta, Minister ordered investigation following an arrest in Italy

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese Home Affairs Minister ordered an investigation to establish why a former employee at the Malta Gaming Authority was arrested in Italy and not in Malta following a European Warrant Arrest issued by the German authorities on tax evasion. Iosif Galea, 40 was arrested on May 14 during the night in Brindisi on his arrival for a holiday at Cellino San Marco. He was with a group of friends including former Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Muscat said that he did not known that a European Arrest Warrant was issued against Galea who happens to be also the boyfriend of an old friend of the Muscat family. Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri who was answering questions in Parliament put forward by the Nationalist Opposition confirmed that he spoke to the Police Commissioner and was informed that investigations are being carried out. “If there is an indication of wrong doing, the necessary steps will be taken” declared Minister Camilleri.
Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà refused to comment so far on why the police failed to arrest Iosif Galea while in Malta when the European Arrest Warrant was already issued by the German authorities early last year and why he was allowed to travel abroad at least two times without any notice. Although Galea was already arrested by the Italian police, the Maltese police issued a European Arrest Warrant against him on May, 25. He is wanted by the Maltese authorities over an alleged case involving sensitive information leaked tp third parties from the Malta Gaming Authorty.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Only one migrant saved by the Maltese authorities this year

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees declared that so far this year, Malta has only saved one migrant. According to statistics and information collected by the UNHCR, the migrant who was brought to Malta was air-lifted by the Armed Forces of Malta from a non-govermental organisation rescue ship last March.
International humanitarian organisations have repeatedly accused the Maltese government of not honouring its international obligations to coordinate and rescue migrants in distress at sea in Maltàs search and rescue area. However, the Ministry for Home Affairs confirmed that the Armed Forces of Malta are responsible for rescuing people in distress but insisted that the Maltese government and its authorities will never collaborate with human traffickers and will not permit Malta will become a regional hub for migrants.
According to the UNHCR, until 22 May, 30,347 migrants crossed the Mediterranean sea and reached Italy, Greece, Spain and Cyprus.

Foto: Agenziafotogramma.it

(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

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