Labour raises €442,000 day driving test scandal breaks

Labour Party collects €442,000 hours after details of a driving test racket emerge

The Labour Party raised €441,530 during a fundraising marathon under the title 'Insaħħu Malta Tagħna' (Strengthening our Malta)
The Labour Party raised €441,530 during a fundraising marathon under the title 'Insaħħu Malta Tagħna' (Strengthening our Malta)

The Labour Party collected €441,530 in donations during a fundraising marathon the same day that details emerged of a Transport Malta racket, enabled by Minister Ian Borg, to help certain candidates pass their driving exam.

The fundraising activity took place on Sunday afternoon, after Prime Minister Robert Abela defended Borg and instead encouraged him to “persist in his endeavors in the field of international politics”.

An investigation by the Times of Malta revealed extensive details of a racket through which Borg would forward the names of test candidates to Transport Malta’s director of licensing Clint Mansueto to help candidates at different stages of the licensing process.

Mansueto and two low-level Transport Malta clerks, Philip Edrick Zammit and Raul Antonio Pace, now face corruption and trading in influence in connection with the racket. They deny the charges.

Hundreds of candidates were given to Mansueto to have their tests fast-tracked and even for “help” to secure a driving licence, and advising the candidates not to allow their driving instructor to be present in the car during the practical exam, to facilitate the scheme. 

Over 11 government and Transport Malta officials showed knowledge of the scheme, such as current PBS chairman Mark Sammut, who as a former TM personnel, pushed Mansueto with requests about specific candidates. 

Later in the day, Borg took to Facebook to defend his actions and said he always advised the authority to operate within the parameters of the law.

He said that at a time when politicians are often criticised for being distant from the public, he is “proud for being accessible to everyone”.

In reaction to the scandal, Grech accused the government of providing a ‘license to kill’ in order to remain in power. “The scandal is shameful... they are playing with people’s lives. How can every person involved [in this racket] have a conscience to allow someone to drive on our roads when they know they are dangerous?.”

In a separate fundraising marathon on the same day, the Nationalist Party collected €248,182.