Fugitive who disappeared in 2018 arrested when reporting lost wallet at police station

Man who disappeared in December 2018 while on bail for armed robbery, is back in custody after being recognised while filing a police report about a lost wallet

File photo
File photo

A man who disappeared in December 2018, while on bail for armed robbery is back in custody after being recognised while filing a police report about a lost wallet.

Police had been in the process of issuing a European Arrest Warrant for Christopher el Shoushani, 48, who they had believed to be in the UK, when he walked into the Sliema police station, Police Inspector Joseph Mercieca told Magistrate Victor Axiak on Friday.

Shoushani, a Sliema resident, had been charged over his alleged involvement in a hold-up in 2018, but had to be placed on the police’s wanted list after apparently vanishing three months after being granted bail in September that year.

Inspector Mercieca explained that the police had been informed that Shoushani had moved to the UK and had been preparing a European Arrest Warrant and an extradition order requesting his return to Malta.

It seems as though the wanted man had returned to Malta on his own steam and had somehow passed through passport control at the airport unchecked.

He had been taken into custody yesterday when he had gone to the Sliema police station to report that he had lost his wallet. His name had triggered an alert when it was entered into the police database and he was immediately arrested.

El Shoushani pleaded not guilty to charges of breaching his bail conditions and recidivism.

A request for bail was rejected due to the absence of a fixed local address Magistrate Axiak refused a request for bail because the man was unable to provide evidence of a fixed address.

Lawyers Jose Herrera and Martina Herrera assisted the defendant.