Maltese man, John Spiteri, arrested in Malta-Sicily 432kg narcotics raid

Over 100 police officers carry out 16 arrests in Malta, Sicily and Calabria in massive drug raid

The Guardia di Finanza made 16 arrests on drug trafficking between Sicily and Malta
The Guardia di Finanza made 16 arrests on drug trafficking between Sicily and Malta

Italian finance police in Catania have made 17 arrests and seized 432kg of unspecified narcotics in a massive raid on a Sicily-Malta drug trafficking route.

‘Operation La Vallette’ was carried out at dawn by over 100 officers from the Catanese provincial command of the Guardia di Finanza, with their Ragusan counterparts and the serious crimes unit SCICO.

The arrests were made in Sicily, home of the Cosa Nostra – specifially Catania, Ragusa, and Syracuse – and in Calabria, home of the Ndrangheta, as well as in Malta. Three Albanians and one Malteseman was arrested.

The names are Alessandro Agostino, Giuseppe Agostino, Salvatore Agostino, Rosario Amico, Lucia Armenia, Antonio Bevilacqua, Rocco Bevilacqua, Antonio Salvatore Commisso, Fatjon Cuca, Emiliano Hoxhaji, Eriseld Hoxhaji, Ledi Hoxhaji, Roberto Melfi, Pietro Sessa, and Maltese national John Spiteri. Another Maltese national implicated was Fabian Catania, who has already been charged with transporting 84kg of cannabis in 2018, ostensibly acting as a courier for Spiteri.

Rosario Amico was said to be the ‘head’ of the cartel. Pietro Sessa and Lucia Armenia would support him procurement and purchase of the drugs. The Hoxhaji trio were the supply channel of the organisation. The drugs purchased in the Balkans would be sold to Amico, who would then resell it to Spiteri, operating in Malta. The Calabrians Agostino and Bevilacqua were the suppliers of the cocaine, marijuana and hashish that was transported from Reggio Calabria to Sicily to be sold to Amico. Roberto Melfi was said to be the broker selling drugs in Milan and Monza.

The Anti-Mafia District Directorate ordered the application of precautionary measures against all 17, on charges of association for international drug trafficking.