Updated – Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 29 August 2023

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Major police raid yields 67 arrests on drugs, illegal residency and prostitution

A series of three police operations yielded significant outcomes including the discovery of drugs, apprehension of 67 individuals residing unlawfully in Malta, and the arrest of an additional person associated with prostitution, along with the confiscation of a substantial sum of money. The police reported that these operations were executed between 8 pm and 1 am in Marsa, Hamrun, and Naxxar, encompassing various specialized divisions of the police force. (Times of Malta)

Man charged with swindling NGO six-figure sum

A man has been charged with defrauding a charitable organisation, Fondazzjoni Wens, of approximately €111,000 and then proceeding to launder the monies. The 49-year-old individual appeared before Magistrate Leonard Caruana on Monday, following his arrest. The charges against him encompass the misappropriation of funds from the foundation, theft of a jigger from the same entity, falsifying invoices, recidivism, and the alleged laundering of the misappropriated funds. Having previously served a sentence in a Vienna prison, the accused was apprehended upon his return to Malta. The man, who pleaded not guilty, was granted bail against an €8,000 deposit and a €30,000 personal guarantee. (Newsbook)

Skills Development Scheme extended
Malta Enterprise has announced an extension to the popular Skills Development Scheme, which aims at boosting and propagating commercial skills. Over the last two years, over 100 employees benefitted from the opportunities made available through this scheme, by an investment of some €5 million. The scheme now covers 70% of expenditure for such training, including the payment of trainees. Small and medium sized enterprises as well as large enterprises can benefit from this Scheme. Enterprise Minister Miriam Dalli said that this is an investment in human resource to stimulate the transition to digital and environmental processes and to prepare the country’s economy for the future. (TVM)

Morning Briefing

Tribunal order Air Malta to pay €585,056 to cabin crew after discrimination claims

Air Malta has been ordered by a tribunal to reimburse €585,056 to 33 former cabin crew personnel after being found guilty of discrimination and infringement of the principle of equitable remuneration for similar tasks. Back in July, the industrial tribunal concluded that Air Malta must disburse this sum within a month, following its determination of the case initiated by cabin crew members and their union in 2018. The disbursed amounts differ based on the specific circumstances of each employee, with the highest payment granted to an individual cabin crew member exceeding €35,000. Originally involving 42 workers, the lawsuit was instigated in 2018, yet nine of them opted to withdraw from the proceedings as they secured alternative employment. The cabin crew members contended that the 2017 collective agreement contained discriminatory provisions that violated their fundamental rights, particularly concerning the calculation of salary increments. (The Malta Independent)

Unemployment remains below 900

In July 2023, the count of individuals enrolling for employment in Malta remained under 900. According to the National Statistics Office, the figure for July 2023 totaled 893 registrants, marking a decline of 32 individuals in comparison to the same month in 2022. Insights from Jobsplus data for July 2023 reveal a year-on-year drop of 46 individuals in the overall count, with a decrease in Part I registrants and a simultaneous increase of 14 individuals in those registering under Part II of the unemployment register. (Newsbook)

Wardens to get speed guns to check speed on road

Traffic wardens and transport officials will now employ speed guns as authorities seek to enhance efforts towards road safety. This initiative is expected to contribute significantly to the existing count of over 6,000 motorists apprehended by the police through speed gun utilization within the previous year. Speeding, along with the usage of mobile phones by drivers, currently ranks as the most frequent traffic violation, as reported by law enforcement. Notably, both of these infractions are considered the most hazardous. Penalties for speeding vary between €35 and €70, contingent on the extent to which the vehicle exceeded the designated speed limit. (Times of Malta)

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