A number of Transport Malta officials are being charged in court for allegedly favouring a number of recommended persons when they sat for their various driving tests. These people had allegedly been recommended by high level people in various ministries.
The investigation was started after an anonymous letter was received by the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID). The author of this anonymous letter was Aziz*.
Aziz was born in the refugee camp of Jenin, Palestine. His childhood was a difficult one. He went through the painful 2002 massacre for which that camp is known worldwide.
Eighteen years ago, destiny decreed that he should come to Malta. He became a qualified interpreter/translator in seven languages, the most important of which, in a Maltese context, being English, Maltese and Arabic.
He also started making friends in Malta and getting to know a good number of Arabic-speaking Maltese citizens. In 2008, he started frequenting the Labour Party club in his locality.
His connections with these Arabic speaking Maltese citizens as well as with other Maltese citizens did not pass by unnoticed by Joseph Muscat’s ‘moviment’. Aziz could, therefore, be useful on the political front because of his connections.
He was, thus, made a special delegate of the Labour Party by the party administration, obviously with the approval of Muscat, in order for him to keep contact with the Muslim community in Malta and, eventually, he was elected secretary of the local Labour Party club. His political task consisted also of persuading new people to vote for the Labour Party, as well as fundraising for the party.
At a certain point after the 2017 elections, Aziz applied twice to become a Maltese citizen. He had been here well over 10 years, working profitably and with a regular and uninterrupted residence permit.
Aziz was made a special delegate of the Labour Party, obviously with the approval of Joseph Muscat
Apart from that, he had been doing a lot of voluntary work for the Labour Party. Getting Maltese citizenship by naturalisation, as per Chapter 188 of the Citizenship Law, would be a piece of cake, he thought.
Yet, this was not to be, even though Aziz believed that other persons acquired Maltese citizenship when they were not entitled to it. According to him, Parliamentary Secretary Alex Muscat blocked his request. At this point, Aziz realised he was being taken for a ride by the Labour Party. Their only interest was to use him to persuade the many people he knew to vote for Labour.
Aziz decided it was time for him to spill the beans on what was going on at Transport Malta when it came to driving licence exams. TM director Clint Mansueto would allegedly provide him with multiple choice exam papers on which the correct answers were already marked. He would then allegedly overbear on Aziz to ensure that a number of Italian drivers of a renowned cab company as well as a number of bus drivers recommended by “the ministry” were to pass the exam.
A number of officials from different ministries would allegedly recommend various candidates for their exams to be held at the theory testing centre and in their practical licence drive. A certain person in the theory testing centre would allegedly ensure that the recommended persons would pass their test. Aziz claims that he went to reveal all this corruption to various personalities in high quarters: Minister Carmelo Abela, Sandro Craus from the OPM, Jesmond Zammit from Ian Borg’s secretariat and Alex Muscat. According to Aziz, they all ignored him.
So, Aziz tried, for nearly a year, to fix an appointment with Borg, informing him about what Mansueto was doing and that the members of his secretariat were ignoring him. Borg’s only answer was for Aziz to fix a meeting with the Transport Malta chairman.
At this stage, Aziz wrote his now notorious anonymous e-mail to the FCID, denouncing the ongoing alleged fraud. As a result, after 16 years of living in Malta, Identity Malta stopped his residence permit and Aziz was forced to leave Malta.
A crucial witness was pushed away from Malta and is now unable to testify in person.
Aziz, however, is always available to testify by video conference, if the presiding magistrate is willing for him to do so.
This whistleblower could reveal various aspects of this alleged scandal of which he has had first-hand experience.
* Not his real name.
Arnold Cassola is a former secretary general of the European Green Party and an independent candidate in next year’s MEP elections.