“Drugs victims engaged to become vehicle arsonists”

Around this time a year ago the Police Corps established an Arson Unit to investigate fire reports of vehicles or premises having been purposely set on fire. In an interview with the news centre Police Inspector Mario Xiberras from this unit said that in the majority of these incidents the mandates of such criminal events take advantage of vulnerable persons such as drugs victims by offering them money to carry out such incidents in order for their names and connections to remain mysterious.

This year the Police have received an average of three reports every month related to the intentional setting on fire of vehicles or premises. Inspector Xiberras explained why such cases may be a strong task to be carried out.

He said that on arrival of such incident spots, fire will have removed most of the evidence, especially by the time the CPD arrive and carry out their duty by extinguishing the flames with water or foam. These will continue to remove available evidence.

Inspector Xiberras continued to explain that because of lack of witnesses of security cameras in the zone, Police have to rely on information from the victims. However, these do not often come forward with the truth because they are either involved in secret relationships or in criminal activity such as drugs trafficking or usury.

He continued that in most cases the arsonists have no connections with the victims because the mandates make use of vulnerable persons such as druggees who agree to carry out such acts for little money.

When these are identified it is stressed they are in great trouble of being arraigned in Court and facing a prison sentence and other severe penalties while their mandate is remaining scot free.

The Inspector said the penalties linked to arson of vehicles or inhabited premises may lead to life imprisonment and there are cases of some having been sentenced to between two and 12 years of imprisonment according to the circumstances.