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(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Government accepts PN request for Auditor General to investigate Algeria visa scam - The Malta Independent - Algeria latest news

The Nationalist Party today requested the National Audit Office to investigate the granting of 6,781 visas to Algerian nationals in the last 18 months, a situation that has attracted international attention in the wake of reports that militants are making their way into Europe.

A formal request to investigate was made because of the government’s refusal to answer a series of serious and pertinent questions regarding the alleged Algerian visa scam.

Addressing a press conference this afternoon, PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami said that the NAO should investigate to what extent the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister knew what was taking place at the Malta Consulate in Algiers.

The PN is also asking the NAO to investigate how appointments at the consulate were given, taking into consideration reports in The Malta Independent that the Prime Minister’s cousin, Robert Falzon, was Malta’s consul to Algiers until he was pulled back three weeks before the story broke. In addition to Robert Falzon’s appointment, a request is also being made regarding the appointments of all staff members at the consulate, specifically whether public calls were made and whether they had the necessary qualifications, such as being able to speak French at the very least.

The PN is also requesting the investigation to cover the role being played, if any, by Air Malta, following its launch of direct flights to Algeria. The abnormal amount of visas being given to Algerians started as soon as Air Malta launched its operations to Algiers. Dr Fenech Adami questioned whether they are “servicing a scam.”

It has been alleged that many Algerians only spend moments in Malta before flying off to their intended destination. “We have information of people booking hotels in Malta and never turning up. Without anybody noticing, people are arriving in Malta during the early hours of the morning, and leaving for Paris later that same day. This is not how Schengen is supposed to operate,” Dr Fenech Adami said.

Party spokesman Francis Zammit Dimech while also addressing the press conference focused on the need to protect Malta’s image and the security concerns raised for Europe at large.

In a statement, the government said it accepts the request and urged the Opposition to present any information it might have to help in the inquiry.

The government noted the Opposition's negativity, saying that the PN chose to make its request on the same day that the Prime Minister is leading a Maltese delegation in Algeria.

Tag(s) : #Diplomatie & Foreigne affairs

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