Man who imported €500,000 worth of cannabis handed 18-year prison sentence

In 2018, police had discovered over 25kg of cannabis in a shipping container which arrived to Malta from Sicily

The trial by jury of a 45-year-old Sicilian who imported over €500,000 worth of cannabis in 2018 has ended with a conviction on two of three heads of indictment.

Earlier this afternoon, a jury found Davide Bonanno guilty by six votes to three of conspiracy to traffic narcotics and aggravated possession of cannabis, while finding him not guilty, also by six votes to three, of importing the drugs.

Sentencing the man this evening, Mr. Justice Aaron Bugeja handed the Sicilian an 18-year prison sentence, together with a €38,000 fine.

Bonanno had been arrested, together with two other men in a police raid on a Sliema garage in October 2018. Officers from the Rapid Intervention Unit and the Drugs Squad, aided by sniffer dogs, had discovered over 25kg of cannabis stashed inside the premi

The drugs, which had arrived in Malta from Sicily in a shipping container, had been packed in tissue packets and declared as “food goods”. Bonanno had signed for the consignment himself.

After being tipped off that the drugs were being stored in a commercial trailer, the police had set up a controlled delivery, arresting Bonanno as soon as he confirmed that the merchandise belonged to him.

Lawyers Kevin Valletta and Andrea Zammit from the Office of the Attorney General prosecuted, assisting Police Inspectors Jonathan Cassar and Mark Anthony Mercieca.

Lawyer Simon Micallef Stafrace was legal aid defence counsel to Bonanno.