Convicted explosives importer Jomic Calleja Maatouk has been placed on Europol’s list of Europe’s most wanted fugitives after going missing from Malta.

He is wanted for failing to appear in court and for failing to abide by bail conditions.

Calleja Maatouk, 36, went missing last week while appealing a five-year prison sentence for importing explosives and trying to buy poison over the dark web. He must also serve a prison sentence over drug offences.

He was out on bail after he appealed his conviction but did not sign a bail book for a number of days.

According to the information on Europol’s most wanted list, Calleja Maatouk had forfeited €51,000 in bail bonds. He “has since not abided by the bail conditions he was to adhere to,” it said.

“Jomic Calleja Maatouk is believed to have absconded the Maltese islands and according to latest intelligence, he is accompanied by a female companion, namely Marzia Marimar Calleja Maatouk,” it added.

The authorities were last week in the process of issuing a European Arrest Warrant for Calleja Maatouk after he went missing with his wife and is believed to be in Serbia.

Sources close to the police said investigators believe the couple probably fled Malta by sea.

There had been no alerts for Calleja Maatouk at the airport or seaport. This led them to believe they either used false passports to get out of the country or crossed to Sicily by sea and then drove through Italy.

In court, Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech had described Calleja Maatouk as a “lethal weapon” who was ready to open “the gates of hell upon whoever he deemed an inconvenience to be eliminated”.

Calleja Maatouk had been caught trying to import deadly material that included lethal doses of radioactive material Polonium-210, highly toxic poison Ricin, killer drug Fentanyl and C-4 explosives.

His wife, 23-year-old Marzia, was last month sentenced to 15 months in jail for cannabis possession with intent to traffic. The crime took place in August 2019 when she was just 19 years old.

She was caught with 340 grams of cannabis as well as other drug paraphernalia outside McDonald’s in Birkirkara in a car with Jomic Calleja, who was her boyfriend at the time.

Maatouk’s family have told Times of Malta they are fearing for her safety after the couple’s home was found in disarray.

They said Marzia has not been online on WhatsApp since Wednesday August 16 and calls to her mobile phone were returning voicemail messages that appeared to indicate it has been switched off for days.

Her brother was the first to sound the alarm the following Thursday, when his sister did not show up at his shop to cover a shift and was not taking his calls.

Her grandmother also began to suspect something was wrong when she tried calling her several times and could not reach her. The distressed woman filed a police report on Friday 18.

“We are extremely worried she might have been forced to leave the country and that she might be in danger right now,” one tearful relative said.

They said that when police and civil protection officers searched the couple’s house on Saturday, it looked as if someone had left “in a rush”. “And it is not typical of Marzia and her husband. They are usually very organised people.”

Police and civil protection officials also found eight dogs and a bird inside the house ­– all pets of the couple. By Monday evening they had been relocated to other homes or animal shelters.

Calleja Maatouk has a long criminal record as well as a history of fleeing the law. In 2015 he was arrested aboard a train in Sicily heading to the Italian mainland, having left Malta as he faced criminal proceedings related to cannabis trafficking.

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