Man with human trafficking conviction charged with trying to leave Malta with someone else's passport

The man was previously jailed after admitting to helping 25 undocumented migrants to leave Malta on a speedboat to Sicily, charging them between €1,000 and €1,500 each

A man from Mali has been remanded in custody after trying to use another person’s passport to leave Malta.

34 year old Moussa Sangare from Mali, assisted by lawyer Charles Mercieca, appeared before Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo this afternoon, accused of being in possession of another person’s passport, attempting to make use of this passport, making a false declaration to the immigration authorities and recidivism.

Santa Venera resident Sangare had previously been jailed for two years in 2013, after admitting to helping 25 undocumented migrants to leave Malta on a speedboat to Sicily, charging them between €1,000 and €1,500 each.

Inspector Lara Butters exhibited a passport belonging to another person, which the accused was allegedly attempting to use at the airport.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyer asked for bail.

Butters explained that the accused was arrested at the airport. “He has been in Malta for a long time but had his asylum application rejected. He is unemployed and although he had an address, it was shared with several other tenants. There was a risk of him disappearing if granted bail,” Butters said.

Mercieca told the court that the accused had been in Malta for over 10 years and had worked as a plasterer since 2007. “He lives in Malta and has his ties here, we aren’t talking about a person who will disappear.”

He exhibited two rental agreements as proof of the man’s ties to the island. Fear of absconding can be attenuated with the right bail conditions, he said. Mercieca quoted case law which established that the State had the obligation to ensure that individuals in its territory are accounted for.

When the prosecuting police inspector said that the police had no documents showing that the accused was working legally, Mercieca offered to exhibit them at the next sitting.

The court, however, after hearing the submissions, refused bail owing to its fear that he would abscond or hide.