Fake passport earns man an eight month sentence

A man has been jailed for eight months after he admitted to using a false passport in an attempted to travel from Malta

Magistrate Astrid May Grima has jailed a man for eight months after he admitted to having attempted to use a false passport to travel from Malta.

Police Inspector Lara Butters arraigned 36-year-old Toni Demaj, a construction worker from Albania before the court on Monday morning. She explained how the accused had tried to leave Malta on flight FR7243 to Dublin on 17 August at around 11:30am with a counterfeit Hungarian passport. His real passport was found inside the pocket of a jacket stowed in his luggage.

Demaj was charged with using a forged or tampered passport, knowingly making use of a forged document and possession of a forged travel document.

A forensic report on the passport was presented together with his criminal record and a report by the police as well as the false passport itself.

After an attempt at plea bargaining was rebuffed by the court, Demaj’s legal aid lawyer, Benjamin Valenzia entered a guilty plea and apologised for his client’s actions.

During the submissions on punishment, Inspector Butters argued that the crime was a grave one, asking for a custodial sentence, whilst the defence reminded the court of the man’s early admission and apology.

The court, after hearing submissions by both parties, found Demaj guilty by his own admission and condemned him to eight months imprisonment. The court drew the attention of the Principal Immigration Office to take the necessary steps to have the accused deported after serving his sentence.

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