Four caught fleeing to Italy with fake passports jailed for six months

‘Everyday, we are seeing cases of false passports. Someone is behind these falsifications,’ Magistrate Joe Mifsud said

Four young individuals caught attempting to leave Malta with fake passports were jailed for six months.

Mohammed Said Smaali, 21, from Tunisia, Abdulsemat Suleman, 19, from Sudan, Fanta Kanata, 20, from Ivory Coast, and Cissi Mana, 21, from Ivory Coast all attempted to go to Italy on 2 March.

Smaali and Suleman were set to go to Turin, while Kanata and Mana were attempting to leave to Rome and Milan respectively.

The four accused all pleaded guilty to the charges of using false passports.

“There is a global racket of passport selling and we’re a part of it,” presiding magistrate Joe Mifsud said. “I don’t exclude the financing of terrorism with this scheme.”

“Everyday, we are seeing cases of false passports. Someone is behind these falsifications.”

Despite this, Mifsud said that the accused were all individuals who needed help and said that he would opt for the minimum punishment, six months’ imprisonment each. 

The magistrate said the migration official should be encouraged to consider repatriation in certain cases.

Christopher Chircop was legal aid lawyer.

Inspector Lara Butters prosecuted.