The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

Updated (2): PA sealing off Marsa stables illegally used to house foreigners in inhumane conditions

Wednesday, 17 July 2019, 08:11 Last update: about 2 months ago

The police this morning discovered more than 80 migrants living in stables in Marsa, The Malta Independent is informed.

Forty-seven of them were arrested, the Planning Authority later said in a statement.

The migrants were found living on property whose use is not suitable for residential purposes.

It has been reported that the police needed to break through chains and padlocks to be able to enter.

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The operation is being carried out by the Planning Authority assisted by members of the Police Special Intervention Unit, Rapid Intervention Unit, Administrative Law Enforcement and Immigration police.

In a statement, the Planning Authority said that in the early hours of the morning, its Compliance & Enforcement Directorate, accompanied by the Malta Police Force, Health and Immigration officials cordoned off an area in Marsa after investigations concluded that a number of stables had been illegally ‘converted’ to house foreign workers in inhumane conditions.

The stables in Sqaq il-Ġerrejja corner with Sqaq l-Istallel in Marsa were converted into makeshift residences to cater for foreign workers seeking cheap accommodation facilities on the Island.  

The authority found that the stables were ‘converted’ into 19 small living accommodation quarters of approximately 20sqm to accommodate 12 or more persons. The foreigners cooked, washed and slept in conditions that were a health hazard not only due to being significantly overcrowded but also as they lacked adequate sanitary facilities, the authority said. In total, two hundred beds were found in the units.  

Forty-seven persons were arrested by the police and were taken in for further questioning.

Given that a number of workers had already left for work prior to the start of the operation, throughout the day the Authorities will provide access for the workers to return and collect their possessions.  

 

The PA’s officers will monitor the site to ensure that the stables operate according to their permitted use.

Photos: Planning Authority

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