International arrest warrant issued against drug smuggling suspect who absconded while on bail

Portuguese drug smuggling suspect, Pedro Henrique Correia De Sousa, who absconded while on bail, is now the subject of an international arrest warrant

A court has issued an international arrest warrant against a Portuguese man who is thought to have absconded while on bail on charges of having imported five kilograms of various drugs.

Pedro Henrique Correia De Sousa had been arrested after a drug sniffer dog took an interest in him upon his arrival at Malta International Airport on a flight from Madrid in 2018, during a routine passenger inspection. Drugs were also found concealed inside his suitcase. He was subsequently charged with importing four kilograms of cannabis, as well as cocaine and ecstasy, none of which appeared to be intended for his personal use.

Four months after his arraignment, De Sousa had been granted bail, secured by a €10,000 deposit and a €15,000 third party guarantee. He was ordered to sign a bail book every day and observe a curfew as part of his bail conditions.

When the compilation of evidence against De Sousa continued before Magistrate Joe Mifsud on Thursday, the court observed that he had last appeared in court on 28 June 2022.

The magistrate observed that although the police and prosecuting police inspector had consistently informed the court that the defendant could not be found, the Attorney General had continued to issue notes of renvoi, the last one on May 22, “as if nothing was wrong”.

Neither the police nor the Attorney General had filed international or European arrest warrants for De Sousa’s return to Malta to answer for his actions before a court, said the magistrate, pointing out that the charges he was facing were serious and dealt with large amounts of drugs.

The magistrate also ordered that copies of his decree be delivered to the Commissioner of Police, the Attorney General, the Minister for Home Affairs and the Justice Minister.