Paceville dealers hide drugs around town 'to avoid long jail sentence'

The court heard how Paceville drug dealers hid their drug stashes in cracks and crevices around the area to evade long criminal sentences if caught by the police 

Drug dealers in Paceville are resorting to hiding small stashes of drugs around town to minimize their risk exposure. This emerged in court as police Inspector Trevor Micallef arraigned three Somali men on drug possession charges this morning.

He explained that groups of men would congregate near particular areas of the nightlife district to wait for customers. When approached to sell drugs, they would send a runner to retrieve the appropriate number of sachets of drugs, which they would have strategically concealed in cracks and crevices around the area. This limits their risk of long prison sentences for drug trafficking, because if caught, the runner would be able to plausibly claim the drugs were for his personal use and obtain a lenient sentence due to the small amounts involved.

The first of the three men to be arraigned before magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras this morning, 23-year-old Abdifatah Ali Mohamed, was charged with being in possession of cannabis and cocaine in Paceville. Inspector Micallef explained that on August 14, an RIU police Inspector had spotted the accused dropping something on to the ground as the officers approached him. Two sachets containing 34g of cannabis grass were found to have been discarded by the accused. Three more sachets, containing a small amount of cocaine, were found in his bag.

Abdifatah’s lawyer Yanika Camilleri, appearing as legal aid, pleaded guilty on his behalf.

The court, after taking into account the man’s early plea, clean criminal record and the minimal amount of drugs involved, sentenced the man to a two-year conditional discharge.

Two more men -Abdirashid Ibrahim Ahmed, 23, and Abdiraheem Abbas Tahlil, 22 - were also arrested in Paceville on Tuesday night and charged with possession of cannabis resin in circumstances which denoted that it was not intended for their personal use and with possessing the drug within 100m of a place frequented by youths. Abdirashid was caught around the same time as Abdifatah, with Abdiraheem being arrested later that night.

Abdirashid had been found in possession of a packet of cigarettes which contained cannabis resin. Abdiraheem had thrown his packet away when the police approached, the court was told.

Both men pleaded not guilty. Bail was not requested and the men were remanded in custody.

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