Two drug trafficking suspects arrested on Tuesday pleaded not guilty upon their arraignment on Wednesday.

The arraignment came after the police caught the man red-handed carrying a box containing a kilo of cocaine worth some €130,000. They had been monitoring him for some days.

Four kilos of suspected cocaine and cannabis were then found at his residence in San ń†wann and at a woman's residence in St Paul's Bay, which he was seen entering.

In court, 53-year-old Roderic Tanti was arraigned alongside the 25-year-old woman, whose name was banned from publication for health reasons.

The two were jointly charged with aggravated possession of cocaine and cannabis resin under circumstances indicating that the drugs were not intended for personal use, trafficking of cannabis resin and money laundering.

Each was separately charged with cannabis and cocaine possession, while Tanti was additionally charged with relapsing. 

A request for bail was turned down in respect of the man but upheld in favour of his co-accused against a deposit of €7,000 and a personal guarantee of €23,000.

The woman was also ordered to sign the bail book four times weekly and abide by a curfew.

The court, presided over by magistrate Josette Demicoli, also upheld the prosecution’s request for a freezing order over all assets of the accused, both movable and immovable.

Inspectors Mark Anthony Mercieca, Lianne Bonello and Christopher Ellul prosecuted.  Lawyers Alfred Abela and Rene’ Darmanin were counsel to Tanti. Lawyers Stephen Tonna Lowell and Veronica Anne Spiteri were counsel to the woman. 

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