Updated | Two remanded in custody arrested following police drugs bust

A third man who was arrested with the two remains under investigation ater all three were found in possession of a substantial amount of drugs and cash

Two men were remanded in custody on Friday after being caught in possession of a substantial amount of drugs and cash. 

David Alexander Grima, 36, from Zabbar and Thomas James Appleby, 29, from Naxxar, were arraigned before duty magistrate Ian Farrugia and charged with conspiracy to import the drugs.

Appleby admitted to additional charges of aggravated possession of cannabis and is expected to be sentenced by a higher court. Both men were remanded in custody, while a third person is still believed to be under investigation for related crimes.

Lawyer Christopher Chircop was defence counsel, while inspectors Kevin Pulis and Jonathan Cassar prosecuted.

The two men, along with the second Briton, were arrested by the Police Drugs Squad yesterday, the police said, adding that they were believed to be part of a “criminal organization” that imported and distributed drugs in Malta.

In a statement on Friday, the police said that over the last 48 hours, a drugs squad operation had led to the arrest of two Britons and a Maltese national. The men are aged between 28 and 37, the police and reside in Naxxar, Ħaż-Żabbar and Msida.

The police said that various packets containing 2kg of a substance believed to be cannabis were found in one of the men’s car. The police said the drugs were packaged in a way that indicated they were destined to be trafficked.

Further searches of the man’s house resulted in the discovery of more packets containing a white substance. Analysis by a court expert indicated that the substance was likely a cutting agent which is commonly mixed with cocaine in order to increase its volume.

A search of the Msida apartment one of the men lived in did not result in the discovery of any drugs, however some €70,000 in cash and two watches estimated to be worth €24,000 were found.

The police said they believe the men were involved in the smuggling of cannabis and cocaine on a “substantial scale”.

The men are expected to be charged in court over with trafficking, the aggravated possession of drugs and possibly money laundering within the next 24 hours.