3 November 2002
network operating Holland-Malta route dismantled
VALLETTA - It could have been a run of the mill drug bust but
the arrest of two Maltese nationals in the outskirts of Catania
in May this year was more than that. It was the loose end of a
criminal cobweb that ran the drug route Holland-Italy-Malta.
When arrested by the Italian police after being caught red-handed
collecting a packet containing four kilos of cocaine and one kilo
of marijuana, both Raymond Borg and Fabio Psaila were considered
to be drug couriers. However, intensive interrogations and a thorough
investigation by law enforcement agencies led the police to dismantle
an intricate drug ring, which ironically had as its masterminds
at least five prison inmates who directed operations from Corradino.
Police investigations came to fruition on Friday when no less
than 19 people were arraigned in court on various drug related
charges. Only one of the accused, Trudy Testa was granted bail
by the court on humanitarian grounds.
The five prison inmates arraigned are: Mario Camilleri, L-Imniehru,
aged 40 from Valletta and his son Pierre aged 20 from Pieta,
Emanuel Camilleri, Il-Bully, aged 37 from Imqabba, Charles Muscat,
Il-Pips, aged 35 from Mosta and Alfred Bugeja, Il-Porporina, aged
44 from Valletta.
The other accused are: John Camilleri, aged 34 from Imqabba,
Romeo Bone, aged 26 from Floriana, Yvette Muscat, aged 37 from
Iklin, Mona Camilleri, aged 30 from Valletta, Trudy Testa, aged
37 from Mqabba, Isaac Chetcuti, aged 25 from Sliema, Noel Borg,
aged 29 from Bahar ic-Caghaq, Daniel Bonnici, aged 26 from Burmarrad,
Anthony Gatt, aged 49 from Imqabba, Carmen Armeni, aged 41 from
Imqabba, Sylvana Bugeja, aged 29 from Gharghur, Sue Abela, aged
36 from Sliema, and Albert Bugeja, aged 30 from Gzira.
Sue Abela is a bowling champion, former sportswoman of the year
and a member of Maltas Order of Merit. She alone was charged
with conspiring to traffic in cocaine and cannabis on 30 May and
in the previous seven years unlike the charge brought against
the others, which spoke of the previous six months.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Tonio Borg, definitely a satisfied
man, yesterday applauded all those involved in the major drug
The Minister said that this past year has seen many successful
episodes in the fight against criminality. He attributed this
success to the hard work and determination of the law enforcement
agencies and the amendments made to the Criminal Code earlier
in the year. These amendments made it possible for the Police
to intervene in cases involving conspiracy. Previously law enforcers
could only prosecute on crimes, which were actually committed.