The Malta Independent 19 March 2019, Tuesday

29 year-old waste collector charged with drug dealing, circulating false banknotes

Friday, 15 March 2019, 18:00 Last update: about 3 days ago

A 29 year-old waste collector has been charged with drug dealing, circulating false banknotes, grievously injuring a third party and weapons charges as he was arraigned with two alleged co-conspirators.

Inspectors Mark Anthony Mercieca and Justine Grech arraigned Jordan Azzopardi before magistrate Charmaine Galea this afternoon, accusing him of supplying cocaine and heroin and selling cannabis, as well as possession of the drugs within 100m of a school or place frequented by youths.

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He was further charged with having, on different days in March, placed fake banknotes into circulation, conspired to commit a crime, defrauded a number of shops where he had used the fake notes, carried a firearm in public without a permit, breached bail and grievously injured a man.

Azzopardi, who resides in an upmarket apartment complex in Madliena, pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyers Alfred Abela and Arthur Azzopardi, did not request bail at this stage.

Azzopardi's alleged co-conspirators in the fake banknote crimes, 66 year-old Mario Abdilla of Valletta and a 30 year-old woman from Cospicua, were also arraigned today by inspector Mark Mercieca and Shaun Friggieri. The mother of five, who cannot be named due to a court-imposed ban on the publication of her name, pleaded not guilty to placing fake banknotes into circulation, conspiracy to commit a crime, fraud and possession of cannabis. She did not request bail.

Abdilla, a 66-year old from Valletta but currently without a fixed address or employment, pleaded guilty to his involvement in the conspiracy.

Prosecuting Inspectors Mark Mercieca and Shaun Friggieri explained how Abdilla would visit commercial establishments, allegedly at the behest of his co-conspirators, to purchase small items which he would pay for with banknotes of high denomination.

The man had reportedly been promised some €10 for each transaction, the court was told. But he ended up empty-handed, with the cash being allegedly held on to by his fellow conspirators.

Assisted by legal aid lawyer Christopher Chircop, Abdilla admitted to his wrongdoing and was handed a 3-year prison sentence after the court took note of his early guilty plea, his collaboration and his conviction sheet.

The court also recommended that the man be given assistance to overcome his drug addiction by the prison authorities.

 


 

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