Current Affairs
WATCH: Deceived them of thousands of euro in a sting scheme on visa applications in Malta

A number of persons have alleged that they are victims of a deceitful scheme which cost them many thousands of euro to apply for a visa to work in Malta.

Two workers from India who are in Malta spoke with TVM on how they were approached by a person who worked as a human resources manager with a well-known company in Malta.

This person, which is undergoing criminal proceedings in Court, requested them to pass over CVs of relatives and friends in India who are interested to work in Malta, convincing them that the company will enter into a big project and needs more workers.

“She said we need 120 persons for a new project,” one of the workers told us. “Yes, I encountered the same thing, because they said they have a 600 room project, a care home, the same day the HR spoke to me: ‘I need about 100 persons,’” the other worker said.

For every application for a permit she requested €650, with the understanding that when the permit is issued, they have to pay another €3,500. They say that they themselves paid money to come to work in Malta and when they sought work with another company, they were requested money and therefore, they thought this was a normal procedure.

“I paid 4,000 euro for the visa, at that time I thought if someone wants to come to Malta, they need to pay. I searched for a job for my brother, then I met one company, I went there, and the company also asked for monies.”

One of these workers, a technical person, alleged with TVM that in August 2020 he gave this person €16,250, together with 25 CVs of Indian friends who wanted a visa to work with this company in Malta.

Since then he heard nothing more and attempts to contact this manager, which no longer works with the company where he works, proved futile. He lodged a report with the Police on the case.

The other worker told TVM that, meanwhile, the same person joined another person and together they established at least two recruiting companies with which they are signing fictitious contracts in order to collect thousands of euro for visa applications.

The Malta Business Registry confirmed with TVM that these companies are not registered and that there isn’t even pending applications to be listed in the registry.

TVM is in possession of a copy of some of these contracts signed with different prospective workers, with the same two persons appearing as chief executive and managing director.

The worker told us that everytime he met with these persons to collect the contract and pass payment on behalf of relatives or friends in India, he was never welcomed in an office and always told him that the office still needs to be completed.

He added that as these persons were charming and treated him as a relative, he found it difficult to suspect any wrongdoing and he used to give his bank card to one of them in order to withdraw money from the ATM in his name.

The workers said that everything changed when he started asking about the applications progress and wasn’t given satisfactory replies. “We give the CVs, we give the money, after one and a half years, no response”. At this point, he started inquiring and established that the companies were not registered.

Recordings in possession of TVM indicate one of the persons telling him “it’s not your business” if the company which signed the contract with was registered or not, and that he has no right to research about it.

The worker stressed that when he persisted, he was also threatened. He alleged that these persons are still phoning him despite that he is waiting to testify in the Court’s proceedings. “The main things they say ‘you are foreign, you cannot do anything here because you’re in Malta, go back home’, or ‘shut up your mouth.’”

The two workers say that they are aware of scores of other persons who fell victims to the sting. They want to alert other persons to avoid being deceived. “I met one lawyer, he said it’s an illegal business… the company doesn’t have any right to take the money.”

Replying to TVM questions on this case, the Police said that it cannot confirm or neither deny this information due to Article 87 of the Police Act. This article says that the Police cannot reveal details to the media on the identity of persons arrested on suspicion of committing a crime.

The identity of the persons involved is not being published in order not to influence Police investigations and the pending procedures in Court.