A man who signed for a 13-kilo package of cannabis grass delivered to his home by a police officer disguised as a delivery man was denied bail upon arraignment.

Goran Dimovski, a 38-year old Macedonian delivery man living at Marsascala, was escorted to court on Friday afternoon, pleading not guilty to alleged involvement in a conspiracy to import the drug into Malta.

Prosecuting Inspector Marshal Mallia explained that customs officials intercepted a suspicious parcel on April 20, mailed to a Marsascala address.

When checked, that package was found to contain 13 kilos of cannabis grass.

Police set up a controlled delivery and an officer, dressed as a delivery man, handed over the parcel to the addressee at his Marsascala home.

No sooner did the man sign the receipt and just as he was about to go back indoors, four other police officers arrested the suspect.

Under questioning, he later explained that he was meant to get €1,000 for taking delivery of the parcel and then hand it over to a third party whose identity, however, he did not know.

The accused pleaded not guilty to conspiring and importation of the drug.

His lawyer, Matthew Xuereb, pointed out that the accused had been in Malta for 10 years, had all his family here and had no intention whatsoever to abscond.

Rather, he had moved to Malta to establish himself and had a clean criminal record.

Moreover, the witnesses, in this case, were police officers acting in disguise and this reduced the risk of tampering with evidence.

However, Inspector Mallia objected, pointing out that this was “a very serious case of 13 kilos” and besides, the accused was a foreigner charged with criminal association.

He was to give that parcel to a third party and this meant that there was a drug ring.

After hearing submissions, the court presided over by Magistrate Noel Bartolo, rejected the request for bail in view of the possibility of tampering with evidence. 

The court also upheld the prosecution’s request for a freezing order upon all assets of the accused, except for the annual allowance of €13, 976.24 in terms of the law. 

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