16 year jail term and €35,000 fine for ecstasy courier
Jason Cassar, 34 from Mosta, was jailed for 16 years and fined €35,000 yesterday after he admitted trafficking almost 29,000 ecstasy pills.
He pleaded guilty before Mr Justice Joseph Galea Debono instead of being tried by jury. Cassar was found guilty of conspiracy.
He was accused that in April 2007 he agreed with two persons in Malta to meet a man in Catania, Sicily and bring to Malta a consignment of 29,000 pills.
To go to Sicily, Cassar first went to Brussels, Belgium. He then travelled by train to Munich, Germany then to Bologna, Italy and finally to Sicily. He complicated his travel schedule to cover up his plans. He then travelled to Malta with the consignment in his luggage. The means used to travel back to Malta was not identified. The original plan was to deliver the drugs as soon as he reached Malta to the two persons, who promised to pay him E23,293.73.
Meanwhile, the police received a tip off on these illegal operations and started observing the environs around Cassar’s residence.
Cassar was arrested after the pills were found at his residence in Qawra in April 2007. They were hidden in a black travelling bag, on the fridge and in his bedroom. The drugs found had the market value of between E173,436 and E404,684.
Most of the pills, 28,820 contained the substance MDMA, three were pink and yellow, marked with the US dollar sign and contained both MDMA and mCPP. 17,423 grams of MDMA loose substance were also found. Forensic investigations confirmed that such substances are normally found in ecstasy pills. MDMA is classified as a restricted and psychotropic drug while the mCPP is a psychotropic drug.
Lawyers José Herrera and Veronique Dalli appeared for the accused. Dr Aaron Bugeja from the Attorney General’s office prosecuted.
by Elaine Attard