Italian fined for ‘accidental importation’ of cocaine and cannabis

An Italian man has been fined after admitting to importing small amounts of cocaine and marijuana, an act which he claimed was partly accidental

Giuseppe Marcucci, 55, was arraigned before magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras this afternoon, accused of the importation of cannabis and marijuana. Prosecuting police inspector Jeffrey Scicluna told the court that the man had been arrested after police found the drugs in his Valletta hotel room during a raid.

Inspector Scicluna said that on March 29, the Valletta police station had received a report of a guest at a Valletta guest house who was defecating in bags. The police searched man's room, finding tobacco scattered everywhere and 4g of cannabis and 3g of suspected cocaine.

“Bag included,” the accused interjected.

Marcucci had told police he had forgotten the drugs were in his possession and had taken them with him on his flight to Malta from Milan.

“The situation is self-evident. I could neither deny it nor do anything about it,” the accused told the magistrate.

“It was possession, in fact, and I was unaware of the cocaine. I suffer from anxiety and it would have given me too much anxiety to bring the cocaine with me. I rarely use it any more - I'm 55 and I've suffered from depression since 1996. I rarely use it, just as a lifter. If I use too much I end up having to use a tranquilizer for which I have a prescription.”

“I was aware of the cannabis, it’s also a tranquilizer, but cocaine is a double-edged sword.”

Although the accused had refused the court's offer to appoint a lawyer to assist him in his defence, he later asked lawyer Edward Gatt, who was present in the courtroom for another arraignment, to take the man outside for a brief consultation.

“He brought it to Malta by an oversight, but he wishes to register an admission,” the lawyer informed the court after returning to the courtroom.

Inspector Scicluna said the man was highly cooperative and had candidly admitted what he had done to the police.

“I plainly admit that what I did was wrong,” the accused said.

In view of the man's early guilty plea and cooperation with the police, as well as the fact that the drugs were for his personal use, the court imposed a fine of €1,500.