Updated at 5.24 with AFM statement
A soldier has been dismissed for refusing a drug test as part of a probe into allegations of a cocaine party among uniformed staff, Times of Malta can confirm.
Military sources said the soldier was dismissed summarily after refusing to take the urine test, which is one of the offences in the Armed Forces of Malta’s standing orders.
The action was taken after the AFM opened an internal inquiry into allegations that a group of soldiers had a 'cocaine party' while on duty.
Sources said the party is alleged to have taken place at the Luqa barracks around two weeks ago.
The claims first surfaced in a post on Facebook by Godwin Schembri, the soldier who was dismissed from the Armed Forces of Malta in 2018 after footage of a light-hearted moment with colleagues went viral on social media.
The video that sparked off Schembri’s ordeal showed the bombardier making disparaging comments against senior officers as he drove an army truck around a newly-installed gate on the Pembroke ranges. The army had erected the gate without building an adjoining fence, rendering it useless.
In his post on the latest scandal, Schembri posted a series of questions to AFM Commander Jeffrey Curmi.
He asked whether this incident was true and whether the soldier, who he mentioned by the surname Galea had been dismissed for refusing the drug test.
Schembri said that Galea was stationed at the airport.
AFM confirms dismissal and inquiry in statement
In a statement, the AFM confirmed the dismissal and the inquiry currently under way, stressing that immediate action was taken as soon as the allegations of a “party” surfaced.
It said all the soldiers working that evening were ordered to take a urine test to determine whether any of them had consumed any illegal substances.
All soldiers accepted except for one who was dismissed immediately because the refusal was in breach of the army’s internal policies. It said this was in line with the army’s zero tolerance on the use of illegal substances.
The army said that while all soldiers tested negative, it was waiting for the outcome of the internal inquiry to determine what disciplinary action should be taken.
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