Andy Ellul's ex-driver claims police ignored his offer to testify about benefits fraud scheme

Roger Agius, one of the five men accused of organising the fraudulent scheme, says law enforcement ignored his offer of sworn testimony

Public prosecutors and law enforcement personnel failed to reply to an offer of sworn testimony that promised to reveal a conspiracy between Cabinet ministers and public officials to facilitate the commission of benefits fraud.

This emerges from documents uploaded to Facebook today by Roger Agius, one of the five men accused of organising the fraudulent scheme which allowed beneficiaries, hailing mostly from Labour Party strongholds, to fraudulently receive monthly social benefit payments for severe disabilities which they did not actually suffer from.

The documents show that Agius had been assisting the police investigation into the fraudulent scheme since his arrest in October 2023, assistance which investigators had deemed valuable enough to request the inquiring magistrate grant an extension of his police bail last December.

But just two hours after that request was filed, in his written reply, Agius had told the inquiring magistrate that the police were “protecting leading politicians and their persons of trust who had been involved in this racket.”

Agius, the former driver and canvasser for minister Andy Ellul and ex-MP Dr. Silvio Grixti, pointed to an email his lawyers had sent to the police inspector handling the investigation in November 2023. In that email, the lawyers had informed the police that Agius had first-hand information about the origins of the fraud which used forged medical certificates to qualify people for the severe disability benefit, “as well about as the criminal organisation and conspiracy between several individuals, including public officials with the complicity of members of Cabinet since 2019.”

Over €10 million had been paid in benefits to around 400 to 500 undeserving recipients since 2019, the lawyers said.

At the time he sent the email, Agius had expressed his willingness to testify “how, in 2019, a public officer at the Ministry for Social Security, who is a person of trust to the Social Security Minister, had given him a burner phone that all telephone calls about applications based on fraudulent certificates were to be made through.”

Agius’ email also stated that he was prepared to explain “how this public official would arrange the composition of the medical board in order to guarantee that applicants referred by [Agius] would have a positive outcome to their applications.”

Agius said that he had been willing to testify under oath to the duty magistrate that during the first 3 months of 2023 he was still delivering these applications and fraudulent paperwork to Minister Michael Falzon’s person of trust, who he said, had told him that “as long as the Minister is there, we will never have any trouble.”

“He can declare and testify under oath how this public officer had told [one of the people referred by Agius] that the important thing was that Labour was winning votes.”

The email was never replied to, Agius said in his Facebook post.

“As you see, on January 2, 2023, I had declared that during my interrogation on November 17, 2023, I had asked the inspector to take me, right then and there, to a public building in Valletta to show him the traces of this crime and how the ringleader behind this racket-who is a public officer in Falzon’s ministry - had carried it out. The inspector had told me that this was [just] theatrics.”