Jail for man who used fake travel document instead of recently expired genuine one

The man tried using a fake document to board a flight to Italy after realising his travel permit had recently expired

A man who tried to use a fake document to board a flight to Italy, after realising that his travel permit had recently expired, has been jailed after admitting to related charges.

In an arraignment on Friday afternoon, Inspector Lara Butters charged 47-year-old Awale Maman from Togo with possession of a falsified passport and knowingly making use of a false identification document.

The police inspector told magistrate Noel Bartolo that the man had been arrested at the airport yesterday, after attempting to board a flight to Bergamo using a forged German residence card.

The court appointed lawyer David Bonello to assist the accused as legal aid counsel.

A guilty plea was filed by the defence.

Inspector Butters informed the court that the man had come from Italy three years ago. “His only valid document was an Italian permesso di soggiorno which had recently expired. Fearing that it would not be accepted at the border and in order to go abroad, he had purchased the false document,” said the inspector.

Bonello said the man was not a troublemaker and had a clean criminal record. “He thought he was going to have a problem with his documents, even though in truth, there was none, and made a mistake. The intent is very different to the usual cases of using false travel documents,” submitted the lawyer, adding that his client had cooperated with the police.

Finding him guilty on his own admission, the court sentenced Maman to imprisonment for six months.