Men admit to using falsified COVID results in bid to leave Malta

Two French men have been handed suspended sentences and a third man conditionally discharged after presenting the authorities with forged COVID-19 test results while trying to leave Malta

Two French men have been handed suspended sentences after presenting the authorities with a false COVID-19 test result in a bid to leave Malta, while a third man, from Libya, has been conditionally discharged after helping the police find the person who is producing the false test result documents, abroad.

Tabatoni Samuel Fabrizio Numa, 26 and Michelosi Arnaud Marine Jean, 25, both from Provence, in France, were sentenced to 2 years suspended for 4 years, by magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace, after pleading guilty to making false declarations to the authorities and making use of falsified documents at Malta International Airport.

In the third arraignment, Inspector Silvio Magro requested a ban on the publication of the Libyan man’s name so as not to prejudice ongoing investigations. Defence lawyer Charles Mercieca said the defence had no objection.

The Libyan man, who was also arrested yesterday as he was leaving the islands, pleaded guilty to knowingly making a false declaration to the authorities and knowingly making use of falsified documents. Inspector Magro said the man had cooperated with the police and had gone beyond what was expected of him. His assistance is expected to lead the police to finding the source of the false medical tests.

Mercieca said he had wanted to leave Malta quickly due to a family emergency. He tested negative for COVID-19.

In the circumstances, the court gave the man a 2 year conditional discharge. “It is important to know that a conditional discharge is not an acquittal, nor is it given for nothing,” said the Magistrate, warning him to be careful in his future behaviour.

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