Man indicted for receiving drugs mailed in an oil filter goes on trial

The trial by jury of a man accused of taking delivery of a package containing illegal drugs hidden inside an oil filter in 2006, has begun

35-year-old Nigerian-born Qawra resident Isaac Unigwe was indicted for conspiracy to traffic 191g of cocaine and 689g of cannabis and two counts of trafficking – all of which carry life sentences. Unigwe was also indicted for possession of cannabis, using a tampered passport, making false declarations to a public authority and knowingly making use of false documents.

Unigwe was arrested in August 2006, after police carried out a controlled delivery of the drugs, which were in a package addressed to a female friend of the accused who was meant to pass the package on to him.

Local police are understood to have been tipped off about the substances by the UK authorities, who detected the drugs while the package, containing a car oil filter full of cocaine and cannabis, passed through their jurisdiction.

The prosecution are also alleging that a “considerable sum” of money had been transferred to the accused's bank account on the date of the package's arrival in Malta.

Lawyer Roberto Montalto is defence counsel.

Lawyers Lara Lanfranco and Dustin Camilleri are representing the office of the Attorney General in the proceedings.

Judge Antonio Mizzi is presiding the trial.

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