Man wanted in Hungary for human trafficking arrested in Malta

A 48-year-old Syrian national wanted in Hungary for human trafficking is arrested by the anti-terrorism police in Malta

Anti-terrorism police arrested the Syrian national on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant
Anti-terrorism police arrested the Syrian national on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant

Updated at 4:15pm with court arraignment

Anti-terrorism police in Malta have arrested a Syrian national on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant issued by Hungary.

Loiai Aljelda, 48, has been living in Malta for six months and was arrested at his workplace in Dingli on Monday. He was charged in court in the afternoon and remanded in custody after Magistrate Nadine Lia upheld the prosecution's request to deny bail out of fear that he would abscond.

Inspector Omar Zammit said the arrest had come about as a result of investigations by the police anti-terrorism unit after an alert went up on the Schengen Information System on 16 January.

A European Arrest Warrant had been issued by a District Court in Gyor, Hungary, in December 2019, for the man to face prosecution for alleged human trafficking as well as his alleged involvement in immigration and residence permit offences.

Aljelda confirmed that he was the same person wanted by the authorities in Hungary, but informed the court that he was contesting the extradition.

The police said the man had been arrested in Austria over related charges and had been sentenced to three years in prison.

Extradition proceedings will continue in the coming days

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