A man has been cleared by a court of being in possession of fake bank notes purporting to total €41,400.

The notes were clearly fake and the accused never intended to put them in circulation, the court concluded. 

Bessam Abdulhamid was arrested at the airport on May 4, 2015 when he was found in possession of the €200 bank notes.

Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech observed that the accused was consistent in his version that he had bought the notes from an open-air market in Istanbul and that he simply intended to use them when he was playing cards.

The notes were of different sizes and even had the word 'Void' written in Turkish.

Moreover, upon landing in Malta it was he himself who approached the Customs officials to inform them about the fact that he had these fake notes in his hand luggage.

The court said that although the fake notes could have deceived someone not familiar with €200 notes, it was clear that the accused never had any intention to put these fake bank notes in circulation or to try to defraud anyone.

He was thus found not guilty.

Lawyer Joe Giglio was defence counsel.