A café owner who was arrested on December 16 after being found in possession of cocaine and cannabis, has been granted bail.

Gennaro Russo, 29 of Naples but resident in St Paul’s Bay, was stopped while driving in Naxxar.

A search yielded cocaine, cannabis, cash and two mobile phones. in a bag. A further search in his house and two garages in Msida yielded some 1.5 kilos of cocaine and 15 kilos of cannabis worth over €450,000. Some €250,000 in cash were also found. 

Upon his arraignment, the accused pleaded not guilty to trafficking and aggravated possession of cocaine and cannabis as well as other charges including money laundering.

He was remanded in custody.

When the case continued last month, Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, turned down another request for bail in view of the serious nature of the charges, the fact that proceedings were still at a premature stage and also because investigations were still ongoing.

However, when the compilation of evidence resumed on Wednesday the court upheld a fresh request for bail but ordered the accused to sign the bail book twice daily and abide by a curfew, against a deposit of €20,000 and a personal guarantee of €30,000.

The case continues.

Inspectors Justine Grech and Mark Anthony Mercieca are prosecuting.

Lawyers Franco Debono, Marion Camilleri, Matthew Xuereb, Alex Scerri Herrera and Roberto Spiteri are defence counsel.

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