Barman charged after Qawra drugs find

Police found 30g of Marijuana and 30g of suspected cocaine behind the bar, together with €1000 in cash

A barman from Rabat has been remanded in custody after drugs were found behind the bar at his workplace.

Inspector Godwin Scerri explained how on 2 January Qawra district police received a report that drugs were being sold at a bar in the locality. Officers went to the establishment and spotted two persons acting suspiciously. A search of the men recovered drugs and a large knife. Three men, one of whom is reportedly Palestinian, were arrested and will be arraigned separately.

The bar was also searched. Behind the bar, police found 30g of marijuana and 30g of suspected cocaine, together with €1000 in cash. The bar owner was arrested. His ID card, on which police said they had found traces of an illicit substance, was deposited in court today.

From the dock, bar owner Jonathan Fenech from Rabat pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated possession of cannabis and cocaine in circumstances which indicated that they were not intended for his personal consumption.

Fenech also denied operating a bar without the necessary licences and permits.

Lawyer Christopher Chircop, defence counsel, asked presiding magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace for bail.

Inspector Scerri did not object to the request, saying that the man could be released should sufficient guarantees were provided, as there were no civilian witnesses to potentially be suborned.

The Court granted Fenech bail against a deposit of €1000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000, also imposing an 8pm curfew on the man, despite his protestations that it should be 10pm “at least” as he had to run the bar.

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