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Maltese facing ketamine trafficking chargesin Italy

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    A 38-year-old Maltese man is facing charges of trafficking ketamine from Malta to Italy after a six-month Italian police investigation, several sections of the Italian media reported yesterday.

    Ketamine is a veterinary anaesthetic, mainly used for horses, that is also used widely on the rave scene with sometimes dangerous effects.

    The Maltese man was reported to be a producer of veterinary pharmaceuticals and that he had been arrested at the end of May at Milan’s Malpensa airport upon landing, but Italian police only made his arrest, and that of an Italian also implicated, public yesterday since other suspected accomplices were still being investigated in the meantime.

    The Italian police believe the two mixed a legal trade in the veterinary pharmaceutical with trafficking of the drug for human consumption. The Maltese man is believed by the Italian police to have posted the ketamine to his Italian accomplice.

    Both have been accused of drug trafficking following a sting operation in which the accused Italian was caught red-handed attempting to sell five kilos of ketamine, worth some €50,000, to a person he thought was a nightclub owner from Turin but who was, in actual fact, an Italian undercover agent.

    The Maltese man has since been repatriated to Malta but remains under investigation by the Italian authorities. The alleged Italian accomplice, a reseller of veterinary pharmaceuticals, remains under house arrest.

    ‘Operation Special Ket’, as the Italian police dubbed it, uncovered what they described as a bristling trade in the drug between Malta and Piemonte through phone taps, stake-outs and other undercover operations.

    June 25, 2010
    http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=108036

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Ketamine accusations ‘figment of an apparently very fertile imagination’ – lawyer

    A Maltese man who was accused by the Italian authorities this week of forming part of a ketamine trafficking ring is not under arrest in Italy, and Italian authorities are satisfied with authenticated documentation showing he had legally sent the drug, used by veterinarians, to Italy, his lawyer Joseph Giglio confirmed yesterday.

    “It is abundantly clear that my client is neither under arrest, has not sold five kilos of ketamine as alleged, nor is he involved in any drug trafficking ring,” he said when contacted yesterday.

    “Consequently,” he adds, “the reports that appeared (in the Italian media) are not only highly imprecise but indeed, insofar as they refer to my client, nothing but a figment of the apparently very fertile imagination of the people who are making them.”

    The Italian police this week reported that a 38-year-old Maltese man, whose name we are withholding given the apparent inaccuracy of reports, is facing charges of trafficking ketamine from Malta to Italy. The story had been reported in several sections of the Italian media this week.

    Ketamine is a veterinary anaesthetic, mainly used for horses, which is also used widely on the rave scene with sometimes dangerous effects.

    An Italian was recently caught red-handed attempting to sell five kilos of ketamine, worth some €50,000, to a person he thought was a nightclub owner from Turin but who was, in actual fact, an Italian undercover agent.

    Speaking yesterday, Dr Giglio said his client had been spoken to by the authorities in Alba “on account of a perfectly legitimate sale of 200 bottles of Ketamine 10% of 25ml each which only add up to a total of 500 grams of ketamine”.

    “My client is, in fact, in possession of all the licences required according to law to import veterinary medicines and is also licensed as a wholesaler of veterinary medicine. Ketamine 10% in injectable form happens to be one of the products he is legally entitled to import and hold in his wholesale stores.”

    The ketamine in question, he continued, was legally imported to Malta by his client from an authorised German manufacturing company of veterinary products.

    Dr Giglio added, “The purchase was completely clean as is documented by the sales invoice, the fact that it was paid via normal banking transactions and that it was moreover duly registered in the registry of imported medicines which the holder of a licence is duty bound to keep.

    “These Ketamine 10% vials were exported, and labelled with relevant batch numbers for traceability to another authorised veterinary wholesale dealer. Moreover the resale of this product was also a completely transparent one and was carried out openly, above board and via the usual channels.”

    june 28, 2010
    http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=108208
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