Three more police officers have resigned following a probe into rampant overtime abuse, as investigations into the racket continue to broaden.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, the police said that seven officers from the force's traffic section had tendered their resignations. Earlier in the day, Times of Malta reported that four members of the section had resigned. 

Among those who resigned is Walter Spiteri, a superintendent who led the section at the heart of the suspected fraud.

Dozens of members of the force’s 50-strong traffic section are suspected of having been involved in the scam. Acting commissioner Carmelo Magri has now issued an internal call for applications for motorcycle-driving police officers to join the now-decimated traffic section.

Forty-one officers have been arrested as suspects in the probe so far, the police said on Friday, up from 40 on Thursday. Of those, 31 have been released on police bail. The remaining 10 remain under arrest. Twenty-five officers have been suspended.

The suspected racket, which investigators say has been ongoing for years, involved officers claiming overtime for work they never did. The scheme was exposed by a whistleblower who sent an anonymous letter to then-police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar last December.

Allegations centred on overtime abuse within the police force’s traffic section, but the probe is now understood to have broadened to other police departments.

 

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