The Malta Independent 19 December 2018, Wednesday

Woman found guilty of using fake Facebook profile to sell stolen perfume

Wednesday, 7 March 2018, 14:00 Last update: about 11 months ago

A woman who used a fake Facebook profile to sell stolen perfumes has been convicted of handling stolen goods after an anonymous tip off led police to her door.

33 year-old Denise Camilleri was found guilty of having received several items stolen from a perfumery in Hamrun.

Magistrate Doreen Clarke had heard how perfumes had been going missing from the store for a number of months before an anonymous caller told shop staff what was happening.

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A shop assistant had been told by an anonymous female caller that a neighbour who lived in her street had taken to stealing perfumes from their store and then flog them online on the Facebook page ‘min ipartat u min ibiegh, ‘ using the false name of Shaz Kez Camilleri

The caller went on to give enough information to the shop owner to confirm the veracity of the claim and after the perfumes being sold on the Facebook group were found to match those which had disappeared from the shop, the police were called in.

Police investigations revealed “Shaz Kez Camilleri” to be Denise Camilleri and a search or her home returned two intact and sealed boxes of perfume. The products would retail at €48.95 and €38.00, the court was told.

The woman’s criminal enterprise had been going on for some time, the court was told.

During her interrogation by the police, Camilleri had insisted that she had taken delivery of the perfumes from an African stranger after a random encounter at Marsa. She repeated this assertion in court, but said that she had no idea as to the African man’s name or phone number as he had used a private number when calling her.

Describing the woman’s account as “contradictory” and “unlikely”, magistrate Doreen Clarke asked how the accused not become suspicious at being offered a perfume at €15, when it normally retailed at €80. The court ruled that the woman was not a credible witness and had not offered a reasonable explanation of how she had ended up in possession of the stolen perfume, saying it “had difficulty in accepting her testimony as being true.”

Camilleri was declared guilty of receiving stolen goods. However, as the prosecution had not exhibited any other evidence relating to items allegedly stolen, the court said it could only sentence the accused for the two stolen items actually recovered from her home.

For this reason, Camilleri was conditionally discharged for 2 years, also being ordered to refund €86.95 to the owner of the perfumery.

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