Almost €7,000 in fake banknotes found in wall of Jordan Azzopardi’s shower, court hears

The compilation of evidence against the 29-year-old drug kingpin continued today, with the court hearing testimony from the police regarding his arrest earlier this month

Jordan Azzopardi
Jordan Azzopardi

Fake €100 banknotes amounting to €6,700 were found hidden behind the wall of Jordan Azzopardi’s shower during searches of his home, the police said in court on Friday.

The compilation of evidence against 29-year-old Jordan Azzopardi continued today, with the court continuing to hear the testimony of a number of police officers involved in his arrest.

In the last sitting, the court heard how Azzopardi, who is charged with a number of crimes, including drug trafficking, criminal conspiracy and the circulation of fake banknotes, was arrested after he had been named by a number of individuals arrested by the police in separate drug raids.

Police searching Azzopardi’s residence found various items including, weapons, passports, phones, plastic sachets, digital weighing scales as well as fake banknotes, the court had heard. 

Several shopkeepers who took the witness stand today said they could recall a relatively old, bald man attempting to buy good from their shop with €100 bank notes. Some said they had noticed the banknotes were fake and had refused the accept the cash, others said they accepted it.

Police officers who took the witness stand today described how they had been following Azzopardi on the night he was arrested. Azzopardi, together with his female companion, had stopped at a number of shops and had use €100 notes.

They eventually drove towards McDonald’s in Naxxar, where the woman drove off in another car, while Azzopardi, together with another man, walked into McDonald’s.

It was at this point that officers who were following Azzopardi received confirmation that the banknotes they had just were were fake, and arrested them outside McDonald’s.

As Azzopardi was being arrested, he managed to escape, but was re-apprehended shortly afterwards.

The woman was searched and arrested outside her apartment in Madliena but no drugs were found.

Lawyers Alfred Abela and Arthur Azzopardi are counsel to Jordan Azzopardi and the woman.

11:55 The case will continue on 10 April at midday Paul Cocks
11:54 Arthur Azzopardi has asked for the application for bail not to be dealt with today. Paul Cocks
11:53 The owners of the two black Skoda's used by Azzopardi and his associates also testified. Paul Cocks
11:39 The woman was strip-searched and a search of her residence was also carried out. No drugs were found, the officer said. Paul Cocks
11:39 Another policewoman also tells the court how the woman was followed to her Madliena apartment and stopped outside her residence. Paul Cocks
11:38 A policewoman who arrested the woman said that she, along with another police officer, had waited for her outside her apartment. They searched her and found a cannabis grinder. Paul Cocks
11:35 One of the accused, Azzopardi’s girlfriend, has asked to be excused from the courtroom and is being escorted out by several police officers. Paul Cocks
11:31 The officer says that the next day, he was told that a gardener had found what was suspected to be crack cocaine in a sock near a subble wall near Azzopardi's residence. Paul Cocks
11:31 He was reapprehended shortly afterwards. Paul Cocks
11:30 He said that as he was reading his arrest warrant to Azzopardi, he suddenly escaped. Paul Cocks
11:30 He said he had been detailed to execute an arrest warrant on Azzopardi. He says he was first spotted in Qui Si Sana road where a passenger, Mario Abdilla, was picked up. Like his colleague, he says Azzopardi was observed going into various shops. Once they were informed the money was fake, a decision was made to make the arrest. Paul Cocks
11:28 Another police officer, this time for the Drugs Squad takes the witness stand. Paul Cocks
11:28 He was taken to the Floriana health centre for treatment. Paul Cocks
11:27 Azzopardi was chased on foot and ended up bumping into a pole and injuring himself. Paul Cocks
11:27 The officer said that all of a sudden he heard his colleage yell "he's escaped". Paul Cocks
11:26 Two joints were found in the car, he said, one in the ashtray and another in the console. Paul Cocks
11:26 At that point, the officer was informed that Azzopardi had been using fake banknotes and made the arrest. Paul Cocks
11:24 The woman then drove off in another car and Azzopardi walked into the cafe with another man. Paul Cocks
11:23 They drove towards Rue d’Agrent and entered a supermarket there, after which they went to a convenience shop and a grocer in San Gwann, before driving towards Mc Donald’s in Naxxar. Paul Cocks
11:20 The police officer who executed the search warrant on Azzopardi tells the court that he had spotted the accused driving a Skoda Fabia New York Best in Quisisana. His girlfriend was in the car with him. Paul Cocks
11:07 An expert of fake banknotes now takes the stand. He exhibits a report on fake banknotes. Paul Cocks
11:06 The person who bought the food was old and bald, he said. Paul Cocks
11:05 Another witness from a burger outlet in San Gwann said a man had order takeaway food and had attempted to pay using a €100 note. "It looked real and everything," he said, “I gave him change and his food”. Paul Cocks
10:59 The witness is asked if he saw the bald man in the room, he pointed out a bald member of the public. He did not recognise the accused. Paul Cocks
10:58 He person who gave him the note was old and bald, he said. Paul Cocks
10:58 A third shopkeeper, a Tunisian man, tells the court that one evening a customer handed him a €100 note. He said that since he didn’t know how to deal with it, he gave it to his colleague who checked it “twice, three times with the machine and she said it’s real”. “I did the transaction,” he said. “The day after, the police came and told me the note was fake. They checked with another machine.” Paul Cocks
10:52 He too describes a customer trying to pay to pay with a €100 note Paul Cocks
10:51 Another shopkeeper is now testifying. Paul Cocks
10:51 He had been asked by the police whether he had any €100 notes. He didn't but said that a customer had tried to pay with a €100 note which was detected as being false using a scanner. It was a shop assistant who had served the customer, he said. Paul Cocks
10:50 A shopkeeper is next to take the stand. Paul Cocks
10:50 Lawyer Marisa Mifsud presents the court with a transcript of Azzopardi’s interrogation Paul Cocks
10:44 He asks the inspector for the names of the officers who assisted him in the searches he carried out. Azzopardi was not present for the searches. Paul Cocks
10:43 Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi, who is appearing for Azzopardi, begins his cross-examination. Paul Cocks
10:42 Mercieca says that 67 €100 notes were also found inside the wall of Azzopardi’s shower during the police search Paul Cocks
10:40 He says the police had been informed by a nearby landowner that a rubble wall had been moved and a sock with drugs was found underneath Paul Cocks
10:39 Inspector Mark Mercieca takes the stand to continue his testimony Paul Cocks
10:36 Jordan Azzopardi has just entered the court room as proceedings are about to begin Paul Cocks
09:25 Good morning, and welcome to today's court sitting in the compilation of evidence against Jordan Azzopardi. Matthew Vella

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