Man remanded in custody after allegedly smuggling cocaine ingested in 78 capsules

Police said that the man was observed acting suspiciously upon arriving at the Malta International Airport from Madrid

A Colombian man has been remanded in custody, accused of attempting to smuggle capsules of cocaine which he had ingested before flying to Malta from Spain.

Adrian Giovanni Chacon Toloza, 34, from Colombia was arrested on September 30 following his arrival on a flight from Madrid after the police allegedly found 78 capsules of cocaine, a total of approximately 780g in his possession.

The drugs are believed to have a street value of at least €100,000.

Inspector Marshall Mallia charged Toloza with importing the drug, as well as with trafficking it and with being in possession of the illegal substance in circumstances that indicated that it was not exclusively for his personal consumption.

Magistrate Victor Axiaq noted that the AG had issued an order that the defendant be tried by the Criminal Court. The defence lawyer told the court that this was clearly a mistake.

Chacon, who said he was a baker by profession, told the court that he ordinarily resided in Madrid.

Lawyer Chirstopher Chircop entered a plea of not guilty on the defendant’s behalf.

Inspector Mallia said that the drugs squad had received a tip-off that drugs were going to arrive on a flight from Spain on September 30. Several flights were inspected and the defendant, who arrived on a 9:00pm flight was observed acting suspiciously.

Police suspected he had ingested capsules containing the drug, and upon obtaining permission from the inquiring magistrate and the man underwent a CT scan. Since his arrest, Chacon had passed 78 capsules containing what the police suspect to be 10 grams of cocaine each.

The defence did not request bail but asked the court to order the release of the €60 which the man had been carrying at the time of his arrest to allow him to use them. Inspector Mallia explained that although the cash did not appear to be linked to the charges, the prosecution had also noted the fact that he was only carrying €60 on his person to be suspicious. 

Magistrate Axiaq told the lawyer to make the request at a later stage.

A freezing order was also issued over all property belonging to the defendant.

As bail was not requested, Chacon was remanded in custody.