The rumours within the police force are that the FCID will be set up into an independent unit, and the current commissioner Gafa’ will be asked to head it

This site broke the news that a small section of the police force received a hefty increase in salary at the expense of other areas within the same force. This story ended up being covered by The Shift News, which credited this site for this story while confirming that what had been published was all true. The news spread like wildfire among all the members and sectors of the corps. Members started approaching their representatives for an explanation. Police officials, including superintendents expressed their anger on social media. The different versions that the members started to receive continued to increase the anger against Minister Byron Camilleri. Even worse, frustration is leading to a new level of mistrust towards the police administration.

The mistrust started to increase following another piece of information that this site has published. Some weeks ago, this site gave news that the Government does not intend to extend the tenure of the current Police Commissioner, Angelo Gafa’. After his tenure comes to an end, the government does not intend to renew his contract as Commissioner of Police. This site revealed that the Government has not yet made up its mind what will be the new assignment for Gafa’. Nevertheless, rumours are rife within the Police Force that Gafa’ might be joining the FCID section. If this is true, he will be the one benefitting from this increase which he has been negotiating with the unions and government officials.

The rumours now are that the FCID will not remain part of the police force and will be set up in a separate unit. If this is the case, then Gafa’ can be an ideal candidate to head it. Gafa’ still has one year of contract at the Malta Police Force, but as already explained, it is not the intention of the Government to renew it. Thus, one needs to start thinking a year ahead about his or her next position.

Thus, once the FCID is no longer part of the police force, nothing can stop the Government from appointing Gafa’ to head this new unit. At the same time, the Government can justify itself for having given such a significant salary rise by stating that this is a separate and independent unit from the police force. This will provide a free hand to the Government to offer a different and far less advantageous packet to the other sections of the police force. One needs to remember that Angelo Gafa’ was part of the board which decided that a section within the FCID should benefit from what was described as a bonus, which is nothing more than a salary increase.

The anger, distrust, and lack of motivation are now mostly being felt in the Drug Squad Department. One has to remember that last year alone, this section arraigned 13 persons with anti-money Laundering charges. In contrast, the anti-money Laundering unit – whose members received such a hefty increase, arraigned less than five persons. The Anti-Money Laundering Unit is one of the two sections forming part of the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID), which seems to have benefited most from these increases. When members from other sections of the police force who were left out of this agreement approached the union representative, they were told that the article published by this site was not factual and that they should know all the facts before complaining. They reminded them that the proposed increase was mentioned in the Government budget. This is a big lie, as there was no mention of such an increase in the last budget speech.

The truth is that only some of the union representatives knew about the dealings that were being made. A number of union representatives got to know about this deal after the agreement was reached and the decision was already taken. The Government elbowed the police unions and threatened them that if they objected to this sectorial increase, they would call the deal off and blame it on the unions.

This agreement was negotiated by personnel from both Anti-Money Laundering and the Anti-Fraud Departments. This site can reveal that one individual, who formed part of the negotiation team, was a former member of the Malta Police Union. It should be stressed that the Commissioner of Police is an executive member of the National Coordinating Committee (NCC). What happened was that after the negotiations closed, all those forming part of the FCID (Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Anti-Fraud) were assured that they would get the bonuses. However, after a few months, Commissioner Gafa’ gathered all those forming part of the AML and told them that only they would be entitled to a bonus. This brought anger amongst those forming part of the Anti-Fraud Department who were not given any bonuses even though they were the section doing all the work. Thus, they ended up getting no pay raise compared to those working at AML.

Members from the latter section asked for an explanation from the Commissioner of the Police in the wake that members started resigning from the force because of this agreement. Consequently, the Police Commissioner started to panic and gathered members from the Anti-Fraud Department in a meeting and told them, “Għandi żewġt’ itfal u għażilt wieħed… Skużawni”. Simply put, he was and is afraid of more resignations would happen in the Police Corps because of this agreement.

Moreover, there is even anger within AML itself. What angers more the police officers within AML is that these bonuses or hefty salary increases were assigned according to seniority, not by rank or performance. Therefore, a constable who served six years or over at AML would get more compensation than an inspector assigned recently to the department or a newly recruited inspector in other department of the police force.

The situation has become so complex and the anger so uncontrollable that the Police Commissioner informed some superintendents and inspectors, who expressed their anger on social media, to report to him tomorrow, Monday, to explain their behaviour.

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