Jury trial of alleged cocaine mule handler begins

The accused, 33-year-old Edward Cardona, is charged with conspiring to traffic 90 capsules of cocaine in 2013

The trial by jury of a man accused of conspiring to traffic 90 capsules of cocaine in 2013 has begun today.

33-year-old Edward Cardona of St Paul’s Bay is on trial accused of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and possession of cocaine in circumstances which denoted that it was not solely for his personal use.

Judge Giovanni Grixti, presiding the Criminal Court, and a panel of nine jurors heard how, in July 2013, Drugs Squad police had arrested a woman at the airport and found a number of capsules containing approximately one kilogramme of what was later confirmed to be cocaine to be in her possession.

Customs officials had found the woman to have concealed a number of capsules in a contraceptive inside her body. She was escorted to Mater Dei Hospital where her stomach was X-rayed, identifying other capsules which she had swallowed. 73 capsules were recovered from her person, containing a total of 901grams of cocaine with a street value of €57,513.

It emerged that this drug courier had been tasked with carrying the drug by a Nigerian man in Spain called “Obi.” The prosecution allege that the courier was to link up with Edward Cardona in Malta for the sale of the drugs, who had already agreed on the operation with Obi. This transaction had subsequently been successfully concluded, according to the Bill of Indictment.

Lawyers Nadia Attard and Ann Marie Cutajar from the Office of the Attorney General are prosecuting.

Cardona is being assisted by lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia.

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