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22 Jun 2018

Škripek: Maltese government sold 88,000 Schengen visas in Libya

Škripek: Maltese government sold 88,000 Schengen visas in LibyaOn Thursday June 21st, during the meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE), Slovak MEP and Chairman of the European Christian Political Movement (ECMP), Branislav Škripek revealed a visa-related scandal of the Maltese government.

The Slovak MEP alleges that the leftist Maltese government sold 88,000 Schengen visas and health visas to Libyan figures during the 2013-14 term. Škripek stated that a key person involved in the scandal was Neville Gafa, aide to the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

During his description of the case, Škripek said that the case was also brought forward two years ago from Ivan Grech Mintoff, who was a Maltese conservative politician and chairman of the Alleanza Bidla party, which is also part of the ECPM. The TASR newswire cites Škripek as saying:

“Mintoff worked with refugees who drew his attention to the trafficking of Schengen visas. If you paid more, you were given a visa without any checks. Mintoff approached me as ECPM chairman and MEP to point this case out, as his life is in danger due to the revelations.”

The allegations have turned into a court case which was submitted in Malta on Monday, June 18th, even though Škripek is under the impression that the government in Malta and the police are working to make the case disappear and not go to court.

During a time when Europe is trying to strengthen its borders through increased security, if this allegation proves to be true, it could mean that many illegal immigrants have crossed into the Schengen zone area. This could raise doubts about who they were and what intentions they had.

Both Škripek and Mintoff have expressed their concern that terrorists could have purchased these visas and entered the EU to create their own terrorist groups. Škripek urged the European Commission to take measures and actions to examine this case and increase the security in Europe.

Finally, he also stated that he believes this particular case could be related to the murder of a Maltese investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia who had written about the corruption that the Maltese consulate in Algeria was involved in and mentioned that Schengen visas were being issued to people who would have not been able to legally get approval for them.

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