Malta’s police force said that its counter-terrorism unit would be the section in charge of dealing with threats or other interference from Russia.
On the 2nd of March, the US announced that it was setting up a KleptoCapture task force in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine. According to a statement, the Task Force is authorized to investigate and prosecute any criminal offense related to conspiracy to defraud the United States by interfering in and obstructing lawful government functions and money laundering among other offenses.
So far, Malta’s approach to Russia has been far softer. So I wanted to understand what Malta’s police force was doing to investigate any potential threats posed by Russia.
A few days ago I ran an online poll about this topic.
So I asked the police what they were doing.
The first question I asked was if Malta’s police were starting an investigation into Russian interference on the island.
Police Media Officer Brandon Pisani asked me to elaborate on my question.
So I started to break it down in order to prepare for future questions.
So I asked two specific questions:
- Who in Malta is in charge of investigating threats posed by foreign Governments?
- Does the Maltese police force have the tools and human resources to investigate potential attempts or successful attempts by Russia to influence any Maltese politician?
The reply from the Police was as follows:
“In line with its mission statement, the Malta Police Force strives ‘to ensure safety and security’ within Maltese jurisdiction. In pursuing this goal, our Counter-Terrorism Unit within the International Relations & Security Department works in close cooperation with other strategic partners.”
So at least we know who is in charge. But the police completely sidestepped the question about whether or not they can actually protect us from foreign threats and investigate them properly. So we’re not off to a good start, unfortunately.
Based on this initial reply by the police, I think I’ll need to ask them some more questions.