The Malta Independent 19 April 2019, Friday

Man jailed for two years after pleading guilty to circulating false €50 notes

Monday, 18 March 2019, 15:43 Last update: about 1 month ago

A man accused of circulating false €50 notes wept silently as a court sentenced him to two years in jail this afternoon.

Refugee Nnemeka Henry Ajuonuma, who lives in Hal Far Tent Centre and works as a galvanizer was arrested in Paceville during the early hours of Sunday morning, after trying to pay his bar tab with counterfeit notes. A search on his person found him to be in possession of a total of 11 fake €50 notes, inspector Shaun Friggieri told magistrate Ian Farrugia today.

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Inspector Friggieri, together with inspector Leeroy Balzan Engerer charged the man with fraud and maliciously placing false banknotes into circulation.

Ajuonuma had released a written statement to police, saying that he was sorry for the wrong he had consciously done and giving the authorities the name of the person who allegedly gave him the fake money for free : “Jones from Italy,” – information which, as was observed in court, is unlikely to speed up investigations.

In court this afternoon, Ajuonuma pleaded guilty to the charges, wiping away a tear as he did so.

Legal aid lawyer Martin Fenech told the court that the man had admitted and cooperated with the police, and that the amounts of money involved were minimal. He may not have known the banknotes were counterfeit, said the lawyer.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia observed that the minimum sentence he could give in the circumstances was two years imprisonment. “My hands are tied,” said the magistrate as he read out the sentence.

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