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Almost 100 migrants found living in stables in Marsa

Around 100 suspected illegal immigrants have been found living in ‘horrendous’ conditions in a stable in Marsa.

Shocked police officers discovered mouldy walls, old mattresses, clothes hanging from nails and a terrible stench.

The residents were reportedly paying around €100 a month each to live in the stables near the Marsa Racecourse.

Around 50 police and enforcement officials from the Planning Authority raided the building on Wednesday morning, breaking down doors to get inside.

A number of arrests were made in connection with immigration offences.

Johann Buttigieg, the chairman of the Planning Authority, described the living conditions as ‘inhumane’.

He added: ‘A major operation is currently underway at Marsa involving the Planning Authority together with immigration officials, ALE, IRU and Health Authority officials.

‘A considerable number of peoples have been found living in stables.

‘Up to four migrants lived in a bedroom. The average shared living quarters for 12 people was approximately 20sqm, where they cooked, washed and lived.’

The owner of the stables, Ignatius Tonna, told the Times of Malta newspaper: ‘This is my property. We were just giving a place to live to these migrants, helping them out.’

‘They lived better than some Maltese. They even had a fridge and a window.’