The Malta Independent 13 December 2019, Friday

The pebble in the shoe

Rachel Borg Saturday, 30 November 2019, 10:02 Last update: about 12 days ago

The latest psycho-babble by Joseph Muscat is “the pebble in the shoe”.   Cryptic and pathetic, the speak of the desperate. 

 

By the time you are reading this, the investigation may have reached a climax.  But has it?

Can we confidently say that the barrel has been emptied?  Or is the 17 Black / Melvin Theuma line of enquiry just one of the many on the road map to be uncovered?  The “guilty” behind the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia are being named and are under investigation. 

And yet Joseph Muscat has not resigned.  He did not denounce his Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri and continues to defend him.   Is it possible that the pebble is still lodged between his big toe and his middle toe?

Are we looking for the body in the wrong place?   We are convinced that corruption has taken place at 17 Black.  It did not stop at that.  It extended to the criminal underworld and the unspeakable crime of murder by car bomb of Daphne Caruana Galizia.  All of that is currently the subject of Presidential Pardons for the arrested persons and for Interpol and Europol and our Police to get to the bottom of to see if charges can be made and justice done.

So much of the dirt that has come out has confirmed that there were no limits, no off-limits and every kind of collusion can be suspected, from the PA permits left,right and centre, to the many contracts for the projects that became vehicles for corruption and bribery, to the visas, the population expansion, the rise in consumerism feeding the hospitality and entertainment industry leading to a huge increase in the importation of drugs in Malta.

In an April 2019 article by Julian Bonnici for Lovinmalta.com, he states that “Malta’s potential role as a hub for the wider European drug trade is becoming more apparent with Customs and the Police recording record seizures year on year.

In fact, 2018 saw a mammoth 17 tonnes worth of drugs seized by officials, most of which is attributed to the 16 tonnes of cannabis seized in two separate operations, now officially considered the two largest drug hauls in Maltese history.  That’s roughly the same weight as the anchor of a cruise ship, three elephants, four hippos, or a fourth of a space satellite.”   He then goes on to view the 10 biggest drug hauls over the last 2 years and the figures are staggering.

A lucrative business.  Many of the seized drugs were being imported by foreign nationals together with Maltese.  Again, they may be the middlemen.  Amongst the hauls were consignments from various countries on their way to the European mainland. 

In December 19th 2018: 5,020 kilos (5 tonnes), a container intercepted by Customs was found to be carrying 5.02 tonnes (5,020 kg) of cannabis resin, a street value of approximately €450,000.

It was deriving from the port of Algeciras, in Spain, and heading to Malta.

A company registered in Malta was declared to be the consignee.

In another survey done by Lovinmalta, they wanted to get a realistic picture on how wide the use of drugs is in Malta.  The results show that anything from a Festa to a Wedding or Chemsex party can find that drugs are present, including or especially, cocaine.

Past tragic incidents raised the concern of parents about the situation of easily available drugs in Paceville.  We hear some words from the Ministers about doing something about it and then it all fades away and things revert to their normal way or worse.  Our prisons too are not drug-free.

Drug trafficking and money-laundering often go together, as do off-shore accounts in secret destinations.  Interpol and Europol have focused, from what we hear, on those trails.  Money-laundering is the inevitable partner of illicit gains.  The funds have to be cleaned and put somewhere.  The drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar in Columbia, hid his stash from drug trafficking under the ground, literally .  Here in Malta, up to now, it is more likely to be stashed high above ground. 

It may be just empty talk, but so many times in Malta we have judged large and lucrative projects that seem to exceed the scale, need and economy of our small, though prosperous island as being nothing more than vehicles for money-laundering.

The attention is definitely on Malta and it becomes more and more evident that all roads lead to Malta.

These past weeks, we have just started to skim the surface of the octopus and its tentacles. 

No apparent resignations or silly suspensions are the right measure of the affair.  Most of all, the Prime Minister is still there when it is amply evidenced that he should not be and the rhetoric of pebbles in shoes is left unchallenged.

In order for this to count and not become a white-wash, the worst case scenario has to be the target of investigations.  Going half way is simply not enough.  Nothing is to be excluded and no one. 

At the political level, the Labour party cannot hold back from doing the same.  There is only one way and that is to get to the very root of the rot, to remove every person who was in the confidence of Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri and Chris Cardona.  Konrad Mizzi staying on as a Member of Parliament, too, is like your wife’s adulterer staying in the spare room.  Anglu Farrugia is like a left-over take-away and hardly the person of integrity we need at this time to guide Parliament to its best function. 

The sheer conspiracy of it all leaves no room for complacency.  Rather than saying the Labour party can continue with their mandate and remain in government, with all the betrayal of the values they were sworn to, we should look to form a government of national unity.  It can include persons from all the parties who are judged to be trustworthy, but not just politicians.  Respectable persons of integrity and knowledge should be there to balance out the partisan ambitions and contribute to leading the country out of this horrible, disgusting mess we are in. 

Certainly, Mizzi and Schembri could not have been serene about the fact that their Panama accounts were discovered.  We still need to know who Egrant and Macbridge belong to and it is unthinkable that Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna and Karl Cini have not been called in for questioning concerning Egrant.

The Egrant magisterial enquiry is still not in the public domain.  Either the AG should do that right away or he should resign forthwith.  Treating the public like nothing more than stooges, depriving us of our right to information and freedom of speech is shameful and any Labour delegate who stands by it is a big coward.

If even the Doctor played his part in the organisation, how much less, the Attorney General with this obfuscation?

We cannot stand anymore for this filth and injustice.  Joseph Muscat, get out of the way now and hobble all the way to jail.  You are a disgrace and have brought shame onto our country and your party. 

What do you smell now?  As it began, so shall it end.

 

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