Man charged after festa cocaine find

Man released on bail after being charged with carrying sachets of cocaine during Paola feast

A man has been charged in court and released on bail after he was caught carrying cocaine during a recent feast in Paola
A man has been charged in court and released on bail after he was caught carrying cocaine during a recent feast in Paola

A man arrested after a recent festa in Paola has been released on bail after being found to be carrying sachets of what police say is cocaine.

Barclay Vella, 27, from San Gwann appeared before magistrate Josette Demicoli this afternoon, accused of possession of cocaine in circumstances which denoted that it was not for his personal use.

Inspector Sarah Zerafa, prosecuting together with Inspector Paul Camilleri, told the court that the man had been arrested at the feast of Christ the King at Paola on 26 July in the afternoon. She explained that the police had informed band clubs and bars in the area to close at a certain time, but a group of people had continued to celebrate, hopping from bar to bar.

One man in particular was observed acting suspiciously. He was arrested and searched but nothing was found on his person. Upon his release, he was seen to meet Vella outside the police station. Something, later found to be a cigarette packet, was noted in Vella’s hand as he crushed it and threw it away. The packet was found to contain nine sachets of a white substance suspected to be 4.6g of cocaine, said the inspector

Vella pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Bail was requested. He had left drug rehab last week,, said his lawyer Leontine Calleja. He went to the festa and denied having anything to do with the drugs, she said. He could not afford a deposit but was prepared to submit to a supervision order, said the lawyer.

The court released the man against a personal guarantee of €7,000, explaining the serious repercussions to him if he did not abide by his bail conditions.

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