The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

Justice Minister confirms ex police commissioner Ray Zammit is chauffeur-driven

Duncan Barry Thursday, 30 July 2015, 12:25 Last update: about 6 years ago

Justice Minister Owen Bonnici confirmed that former Acting Police Commissioner Ray Zammit – who is now heading a new local enforcement agency tasked with putting an end to abusive practices by wardens – is chauffeur-driven.

The driver of Mr Zammit is the same driver who chauffeured him when he was Acting Police Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, Dr Bonnici also confirmed. The driver is a police officer.

The Malta Independent asked the minister – who is responsible for wardens – to confirm whether Mr Zammit has a driver, whether it’s the same driver who drove him around when he was acting commissioner. We also asked him to state how much Mr Zammit earns and whether he earns the same salary of a police commissioner.

Dr Bonnici said that he has no idea how much a police commissioner earns but pointed out that he has the same salary as other CEOs running other entities.

He also said that most CEOs have a driver.

What he also said is that the government did not want to increase the public sector head-count so it was best Mr Zammit utilised the same driver he had when he was acting commissioner.

Mr Zammit has nothing more than other CEOs, Dr Bonnici continued when asked whether he enjoys any other perks.

On July 3, 2014 the government had announced that then Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit would be stepping down to take up an administrative role as coordinator for security in national events. Deputy Police Commissioner Ray Zammit had been appointed Acting Commissioner while a reorganisation across various levels of the police force was to be carried out.

But in December 2014, Mr Zammit was removed from Acting Commissioner over the findings of an inquiry into a shooting incident involving the driver of former home affairs minister Manuel Mallia.

Mr Zammit said he did nothing wrong despite being singled out by an inquiry board for gross negligence. Mr Zammit was blamed for the inaccuracies in the official statement released by the Home Affairs Ministry on the night, which said warning shots had been fired in the air when facts indicated otherwise.

Mr Zammit did not want to entertain the question as to whether the Prime Minister was mistaken in removing him from office. “He took his decisions. I was there to help and that is what I will continue doing,” he had told a newspaper. At the time, Mr Zammit insisted that, for 39 years, he had always given society a service to the best of his abilities and would continue to do so,” he said.

In May this year, the government announced that Mr Zammit would head a new local enforcement agency.

The controversies surrounding the Zammits

Mr Zammit had declined to comment on serious allegations concerning his family’s business connections with company owner Joe Gaffarena, and his son Daniel Zammit’s (photo) role as a prosecutor in the murder charges against Gaffarena’s son-in-law. Two investigations had been launched by the government into the business dealings of former police inspector Daniel Zammit and his brother, Police Inspector Roderick Zammit – who is also the son of Ray Zammit. The investigations came after blogger and Malta Independent columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia, as well as other reports in this newspaper, revealed the numerous dubious business dealings the Zammits are allegedly involved in. The Malta Independent on Sunday had revealed that Daniel Zammit – who is a former Economic Crimes Inspector – had gone into business with an online gaming operator – Sicilian Francesco Airo - two weeks after he was boarded out of the force. Mr Zammit had been spotted driving a Ferrari which belonged to Mr Airo. This publishing house had highlighted the fact that Daniel Zammit was an economic crimes inspector at a time when he may have had close ties to a gaming operator who was likely to be investigated.

Daniel Zammit had also been given a job at Enemalta within four days of being boarded out, but Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi had asked the chairman to remove Mr Zammit “as soon as he learnt” of Zammit’s fast-tracked €60,000 annual consultancy job. The Police Corps had declined to comment on why Mr Zammit was boarded out but a newspaper cited psychiatric grounds as the reason for Zammit’s early retirement from the force.

New reports have also surfaced that Vincenzo Locorotondo, a wanted Italian Mafioso who was arrested by the Italian police as he came off the catamaran from Malta to Sicily last week, is an associate of Mr Airo and of Daniel Zammit and Roderick Zammit. 

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