The police must investigate how the Labour Party gained from a benefits fraud racket, particularly if it was run as a vote-catching exercise, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said on Sunday. 

Times of Malta on Sunday revealed how former Labour MP Silvio Grixti has been implicated in a years-long racket that allegedly helped hundreds of people fraudulently receive monthly disability benefits to which they were not entitled. 

Evidence indicates that Grixti provided false medical documents to people for them to apply for social benefits intended for severe disabilities which they did not suffer from. Monthly payments from the Social Security Department averaged at around €450 per month. 

Over the past weeks and months, police have been charging dozens of claimants who benefitted from the racket, the majority of whom have admitted to the charges in court and agreed to return the funds, netting them a suspended sentence for defrauding the government.

Speaking over the phone in a radio interview on NET FM, Grech said on Sunday that the government has been mired in “scandal after scandal” and that the police have an obligation to probe who ultimately benefits when such rackets are uncovered. 

“If we have these allegations and people are being charged in court with taking social benefits that they shouldn’t have, if this is true, are the police only going to charge the little fish?” Grech questioned.

“The Labour Party also benefitted from this and so did Robert Abela as its leader and as the prime minister,” he continued. 

“We must look at all those involved in the alleged fraud, not only those who falsified signatures, fudged documents and took the money. Those who facilitated it did it for a reason and clearly they did it to secure people’s votes, this is the benefit that Robert Abela enjoyed.”

Grech said that Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà is “ineffective” and “asleep at the wheel” and is serving the prime minister and his friends, rather than the people.. 

 Gafà , he said, has an obligation to thoroughly investigate these claims and “go for the big fish”. 

Speaking about the rubbish crisis and reports of uncleanliness and rat infestation around the country, Grech said the government is trying to force people to solve the problems it had caused .

“It is clear that Abela is completely out of touch with the people and has a habit of blaming others for problems when he does not have a solution,” he said. 

“The government has decided that the waste problem is the people’s fault and so tells people that they have to solve the problem by putting bin bags in the freezer.

"They did it with traffic and they did it with energy. When the electricity supply could not keep up with the demand they told us to switch off our air conditioners.”

The government, he continued, had lost all credibility in its ability to solve national issues, problems are ballooning all over the country, and the people are now seeing that Robert Abela is not a person who can address their concerns.

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