Man accused of rape, trafficking of teen girls

A man has denied charges that he raped teenage girls and used them for drug running 

The accused was remanded in custody
The accused was remanded in custody

A man from Somalia has denied charges of illegal trafficking and rape of three Maltese teenagers, after allegedly using them for sexual favours and drug running.

Before magistrate Audrey Demicoli, Inspectors John Spiteri and Jonathan Cassar arraigned Abdiladeef Abdirahman Hassan, accusing him of cannabis possession, trafficking of minors for use in illegal activities, rape, corruption of minors, participating in sexual activities with underage persons, illegal arrest and slightly injuring one of the girls.

Inspector Spiteri told the court that the police Vice Squad and Drugs Squad had observed a pattern of disappearances and reappearances of three minors who would go missing from the institution in which they were being held. The 13 and 14-year-old girls would return to the home with new items, like mobile phones, the police were told.

The last time, however, they came back with cannabis grass. It emerged from the police investigation that the accused would give the girls money to buy him drugs. He would also have sex with the minors, who would also be present whilst their friends were being sexually abused, he said.

During the man’s arrest, he said, Hassan had jumped from a window onto a neighbouring property.

Lawyer Martin Fenech, appointed as legal aid to the accused, did not contest the validity of the arrest.

In court this morning, Hassan, who claimed to be 24 but looked much older, said he resided with friends in Birzebbugia and works at a factory. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. Bail was not requested at this stage. A protection order prohibiting any contact with the minors was imposed and Hassan was remanded in custody.

The court banned the publication of the name of the three victims.