Police unions agree on special allowances for financial crime officers

The move comes after a wave of resignations from the Financial Crimes Investigations Department


The two unions representing police officers – the Malta Police Union and the GWU’s Police Officers Union – have given their backing to a special allowance that has reportedly been given to officers stationed at the Financial Crimes Investigations Department.

The unions said that the department, which has been hit with several resignations of late, is “very sensitive in nature and requires highly-trained and professional officers to deal with these cases in a meticulous manner.”

The unions were apparently reacting to a blog post by university lecturer Simon Mercieca, who reported this week that a “small section of the Malta Police Force got a salary increase, but this was kept hidden and done in a hush-hush way”.

With their statement, the unions have confirmed the allowances.

Mercieca wrote in unsubstantiated comments that FCID officers with under three years of experience had a raise of €5,000 per annum, those with over three years had a raise of €8,000 a year and those with over six years’ experience were given a raise of €10,000 a year.

The unions, without going into the new allowances’ euros and cents, added in a joint statement that the overall idea was, “Apart from serving as an incentive to have the best officers in this section, this allowance will also serve to retain these members as employees of the Malta Police Force to the benefit of the country.”

The FCID was hit by a wave of resignations last year. Several officers resigned from the department, which replaced the Economic Crimes Unit once headed by former assistant police commissioner Ian Abdilla. Under Abdilla there were many accusations of stalling investigations into politically-connected corruption and bribery.

The FCID is considered to be one of the more difficult deployments in the force.

The FCID and the Pilatus nolle prosequi

Just last Saturday, internal police correspondence published by Repubblika President Robert Aquilina showed how FCID officers were instructed to find reasons to justify granting a nolle prosequi order for former Pilatus Bank risk manager Antoniella Gauci.

New evidence in the form of emails, which Aquilina transcribed to protect his sources, shows how far the top brass went to provide Gauci with a ‘get of jail free card’.

He also names the five top officers involved, all of whom have since left the FCID and the force for reasons publicly unknown.

Deputy Police Commissioner Alexandra Mamo, who was also the head of the Financial Crime and Investigation Department, suddenly resigned from the Force in November 2022 after 32 years of service.

Superintendent Frank Tabone, the head of the anti-money laundering unit, resigned last August to take up a legal career. He was replaced by Sandro Camilleri, former president of the police officers’ union.

Inspector Keith Vella left the force in July 2022.

Pilatus Bank case prosecutor Inspector Pauline Bonello also resigned while her co-prosecutor, Inspector Claire Borg, went on extended leave.

All seem to have been roped into what has now been shown to have been a team effort on the part of the police to provide Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg with the foundation she needed to issue the nolle prosequi (a rarely-used order to not prosecute) in favour of Gauci and former Pilatus Bank operations supervisor Mehmet Tasli.

nolle prosequi order for Tasli was deemed necessary, according to Aquilina’s book – Pilatus: A Laundromat Bank in Europe – for Gauci to also be freed of charges.

Correspondence sent on 13 July 2021 includes a ‘High’ importance email from then-anti-money laundering squad Inspector Keith Vella to colleagues asking them to “come up with a few points on the nolle prosequi of Antoniella Gauci” because the police needed to have a “clear picture” by the week’s end.

By 10 August 2021, matters had escalated.

Then-Deputy Police Commissioner Alexandra Mamo, also the head of the Financial Crime and Investigation Department, was showing no small measure of urgency.

She wrote to colleagues involved in the joint effort, instructing them that reasons for the nolle prosequi had to be found post haste because “The report has to reach the Attorney General’s Office by tomorrow since the Criminal Inquest will be remitted to the Office of the Attorney General today and there is a lengthy protocol to obtain the nolle prosequi”.

Police Superintendent Frank Tabone was also instructed by Deputy Commissioner Mamo to “make sure it reaches my desk tomorrow so I will transmit it to the Attorney General”.

“Thank you is an understatement,” Mamo wrote.

By the next year, four of the officers involved had resigned from the force and a fifth had gone out on long leave.

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1 month ago

I think that they are joking, really! Employment salaries in this field should be results based on a sliding scale where the time behind bars on sentencing and the amount of cash and assets recovered are factored in. All the recovered assets to be used to finance the on going operations. NO appeals on asset removals should be considered. If they lose a case or appeal they should be shown the door and revert back to plod wages.

1 month ago

“The unions said that the department, which has been hit with several resignations of late, is “very sensitive in nature and requires highly-trained and professional officers to deal with these cases in a meticulous manner.”
So that’s why nothing is happening in this prestigious arm of the Police,”highly-trained and professional officers who are meticulous” are the requirement.
Anyone identified having these attributes during the interview process by the Mafia controlled hierarchy will be discarded in favour of the usual incompetent and subservient leech

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