Paceville cannabis dealer jailed, fined

A man who was arrested in Paceville on suspicion of drug trafficking has been jailed after admitting to related charges

A man who was arrested in Paceville on suspicion of drug trafficking has been jailed after admitting to related charges.

Inspector Steven Ryan Micallef charged Ibrahim Abdalla Musah, 36, from Ghana, with dealing in cannabis, possession of the drug in circumstances denoting it was not intended for his personal use, cocaine and ecstasy possession. He was also accused of possession of a “new psychoactive substance” and committing these offences within 100 metres of a place where young people habitually gather.

The Inspector said that 22g of cannabis were found on the person of the accused. After his arrest, incriminating messages were also found on his phone, indicating that he was meeting people to sell drugs to them at places frequented by youths.

The charges were rendered aggravated by his proximity to these places, said the inspector. However, he said, the other drugs were found in amounts indicating they were intended solely for Musah’s personal use.

The accused, who told the court that he lives in Bugibba and earns a living as an electrician and plumber, pleaded guilty.

Magistrate Astrid May Grima, presiding over the arraignment, told defence lawyer Daniel Attard to explain to the accused that he could face prison if he pleaded guilty to the charges. After consulting with the lawyer outside the courtroom for several minutes, the accused returned and pleaded guilty.

After giving him further time to reconsider his plea, the accused confirmed his admission of guilt.

In his submissions on punishment, Attard said the man had been living in Malta since 2011 and had been living in a homeless shelter with his wife and children, as he had fallen on hard times due to COVID-19.

Musah had a clean conviction sheet, said the lawyer, also arguing that the number of drugs was negligible and had a street value of around €300. “In Ghana, he had sought help for marijuana smoking and was willing to submit to treatment in Malta too,” said the lawyer.

The court, after retiring to chambers and deliberating for some time, sentenced the man to one year in prison and fined him €200.