Two youths charged with cannabis possession

Two youths face charges of possession and trafficking through sharing of a small amount of cannabis grass found at their Sliema apartment.

Two French youths were conditionally discharged this morning after admitting to having been in possession of a small amount of cannabis grass.

In the early hours of yesterday, officers from the Sliema Police Station called at an apartment in Triq Pace, Sliema. Neighbours had complained of loud music.

Admitted inside the apartment, the police smelt cannabis smoke and noted that the drug was on one of the tables, with a joint still alight. A search revealed a total of 3 gramms of cannabis drug.

25-year old Bezard Maxime Aine Jose was charged with trafficking through sharing. The youth, who works in the gaming industry, pleaded guilty as charged. Aine Jose admitted to investigators that it was he who had procured the drug.

He told Magistrate Ian Farrugia that the amount of drug seized by the police was barely enough to roll into 12 joints.

His flatmate, 24-year old Arethuse Julien Alexandre, said he was currently unemployed but was expecting a confirmation of employment from a gaming company. He has been in Malta since January this year. Alexandre was charged with simple possession.

Defence lawyer Jason Grima submitted that the two youth grew up in France where the use of cannabis was tolerated, although not legalised. “They were unaware of how strongly the Maltese law deals even with first-time offenders. In France, such an offence would be dealt with administratively”, the lawyer said.

Both youths pleaded guilty as charged.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia handed Bezard Maxime Aine Jose a three-year conditional discharge, while co-accused Arethuse Julien Alexandre was conditionally discharged for a year.

Inspector Jason Sultana prosecuted. Dr Jason Grima appeared for the two youths.