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
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