Man arrested at airport with cocaine packet in his underwear

The man was caught with 200 grams of cocaine strapped to his private parts

The man was arrested upon his arrival on board a flight from Brussels
The man was arrested upon his arrival on board a flight from Brussels

A Dutch national who arrived in Malta yesterday has been charged with trafficking cocaine, after airport staff discovered that he had concealed a package containing the illegal drug on his person.

Inspector Marshall Mallia arraigned Melvin Nunes, a 36-year-old Dutch citizen from Suriname, under arrest before magistrate Elaine Mercieca on Wednesday.  

Nunes told the court that he was in the process of moving to Malta and was trying to find a job on the islands. Currently, he has no fixed address in Malta.

Inspector Mallia told the court that the man had been arrested at around 00:30hrs on 6 September, upon his arrival on board a flight from Brussels. Police discovered a small sachet of cannabis grass on his person, which Nunes claimed to have been for his personal use.

However, a subsequent full body search led to the discovery of approximately 200 grams of cocaine, wrapped in tape and strapped to his private parts.

During his interrogation, Nunes had confirmed to the police that this was not the first time that he had done this sort of job, the inspector said.

Nunes pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Defence lawyer Cynthia Tomasuolo declared that at this stage the accused would not be making a request for bail.

As the prosecution had also requested a freezing order, Tomasuolo asked what assets the police were referring to as Nunes had no ties to Malta. Inspector Mallia clarified that he was requesting a general freezing order under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

The court proceeded to uphold the request, prohibiting the accused from transferring, selling or otherwise disposing of any of his assets.

The man was remanded in custody until his case was assigned a sitting date.