I don’t think we can assume it was an accident

Published: October 24, 2016 at 10:22pm

It may well have been sabotage. This morning as soon as I heard about the crash, and because the first reports said that Frontex officials – Frontex is Europe’s border control agency – were aboard, I wrote a post saying there was a strong likelihood it wasn’t an accident, that human trafficking is organised by the same criminal networks and along the same routes as arms, tobacco, diesel and drugs smuggling, and that we’re talking about the worst sorts of criminals, that at least two smugglers (described as “fishermen”) have been blown up by bombs in their own cars while driving in Malta, in identical cases.

I wrote that Malta is in the grip of smugglers, money-launderers, drug-dealers, traffickers, terrible criminals who are organised, connected and networked, and that the networks of corruption have so undermined the police force that it cannot be trusted not to protect criminals and those who protect them in turn, and an investigation into what happened had best be taken out of the hands of the Malta police.

Then, when the news followed that Frontex officials were not on board the plane, I immediately took the post down. When France’s Ministry of Defence said that the plane was carrying three of its people (the other two were the pilot and first officer), and further information emerged that they were on a reconnaissance mission in Maltese airspace only, to look at the routes along which drugs and people are trafficked, I realised that my first reaction was the proper one after all. I feel no differently about it tonight than I did this morning, except for the fact that I am even more concerned.

The people who love a good conspiracy theory have been trying to involve the CIA all day, but generally speaking, the obvious is always what is staring us in the face. The crime networks which put bombs in each other’s cars and hire killers to gun each other down – there have been so many of those in Malta over the last five years – are not going to be averse to or incapable of killing three French defence officials who are trying to identify their precise smuggling routes and methods.

I’m quite sure they’re going to be looking at this.

plane crashes from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.