Cocaine trafficker jailed for nine years, fined €10,000

A man has been jailed for nine years and fined €10,000 for importing 360g of cocaine and other illicit substances, in a case dating back 10 years

A court has jailed a drug trafficker for nine years and fined him €10,000 for importing 360g of cocaine and other illicit substances, in a case dating back 10 years.

Uchena Anya, 38, from Nigeria, was found guilty of possession of the drug in circumstances denoting it wasn’t for his personal use, conspiracy to traffic drugs and money laundering by Magistrate Neville Camilleri.

The case revolves around a controlled delivery carried out by the police on 27 November 2010. The consignment of drugs was halted after a Romanian man, Attila Somlyai, was caught carrying 60 capsules containing around 600g of cocaine in his stomach at the airport the day before.

Somlyai had arrived in Malta from Dusseldorf and was arrested. He had cooperated with the police and carried out the controlled delivery outside a Sliema hotel.

Police investigations revealed that the drugs were meant to be passed on to another Nigerian man, Stephen Ikechukwu, who was also charged in separate proceedings. Anya was found to have also been involved in the importation plan.

Somlyai had explained how he had been travelling from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf and then caught a flight to Malta, where he was supposed to go to the Roma hotel and meet a Nigerian man. This plan was successful in October 2010, and the courier had consigned 28 capsules in his first visit to Malta.

Somlyai's second visit was unsuccessful, however, and he was intercepted by the police. X-rays had revealed a large number of capsules in his stomach.

Anya was arrested after police spotted him acting suspiciously in court when Somlyai was arraigned together with Stephen Egbo.