Maltese police arrest 13 illegal expats living in Bugibba

Published:  27 Feb at 6 PM
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Tagged: Immigration
Spot checks by Maltese police in the St Paul’s Bay, Bugibba and Qawra areas of Malta have resulted in the arrests of 13 expats believed to have been living and working illegally on the island.

The arrests are believed to have been made following a number of Facebook complaints by legally resident expats about document searches on buses by Maltese immigration police. As well as demanding sight of bus passengers’ papers, immigration officers were also seen checking the documents of expats standing in bus queues. The checks are believed to have started at around 5 a.m. on Wednesday, with one expat believing it was a joke due to the laid-back attitude of the officials.

The female expat was asked by police for her immigration documentation, but was unable to provide it, adding she saw officers writing down expats’ ID numbers in their notebooks. Officials were also asking for the nationality of those on the buses and in the queues, saying they were checking the documents of foreigners living and working in Malta. Immigration police checks in Malta aren’t unusual, but seem to have been ramped up recently, with no reason being given by the authorities.

One legal British expatriate working on the island reported last year on his Asian wife’s harrowing experience whilst taking a walk along Sliema Promenade. She was approached by two men claiming to be immigration police who demanded she show them her residence card but provided no identification. They photographed the card on a smartphone, handed it back to her and left. She was scared by the incident, with both she and her husband later wondering if it had all been a scam in order to get details from her card.
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