Police continue targeting foreigners living illegally in Malta with Paola, Fgura raids

25 foreigners with no permits to stay in Malta detained in early morning police raids

Police detained 25 foreigners without permits in early morning raids in Paola and Fgura (Photo: Police)
Police detained 25 foreigners without permits in early morning raids in Paola and Fgura (Photo: Police)

Police have continued with their drive to identify foreign nationals staying in Malta illegally with fresh raids in Paola and Fgura on Monday morning.

The police said that 25 people were discovered living illegally in Malta during inspections that happened early in the morning.

Inspections were carried out jointly by the police and detention service personnel in various residences, where foreign nationals live.

Police said the 25 people came from India, Bangladesh, Syria, Colombia and other unnamed countries.

This latest raid is part of a series of similar actions taken by the police over the past month. The raids come after an incident in Hamrun last August when rival groups of Syrian nationals fought each other on the main road. The incident provoked widespread condemnation with Prime Minister Robert Abela promising action against whoever breaks the law, while cautioning against racist attitudes.

The government has been egged on to clamp down on immigrants by elements within the Opposition, some of who, like MPs Joe Giglio and Alex Borg, called for immediate deportation of lawbreakers.

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech later adopted a more moderate tone, cautioning against language that can foment racism, while criticising government for leaving the police without resources to carry out their job.

The various raids have identified foreign nationals, mostly asylum seekers, who are living in Malta without the necessary permits. Most are immigrants with protection status granted in Italy and who would have come over to Malta to find work and overstayed.

During one such raid last week in Marsa, police were accused of being heavy-handed as they kicked in doors to gain access to apartments even when the people living there were not at home.