Police officers explained in court on Wednesday how they had travelled to the United States to investigate the discovery of a parcel, being shipped to Malta, which contained explosives and lethal poisons hidden inside a loudspeaker. They also exhibited the loudspeaker.
That parcel had allegedly been delivered to Jomic Calleja, 34 of Zebbug, who is facing charges of attempted importation of explosive material as well as lethal poisons.
Sergeant Adrian Grima, from the anti-terrorism unit, explaining how he had accompanied other officers to Arizona on August 18, following a tip-off about a ‘suspicious parcel’ directed towards Malta.
That parcel had contained explosive material hidden inside a sound speaker.
The substance was extracted by an explosives expert before the parcel was sent on to its intended addressee, a Maltese resident named ‘Roger Tabone.’
The parcel reached its destination towards the end of August, said Sergeant Grima, exhibiting a box containing the now-empty speaker.
Prosecuting Inspector Omar Zammit confirmed under oath that ‘Roger Tabone’ was a false name used by Jomic Calleja. Investigators had reached that conclusion even on the basis of data from Identity Malta.
Working on suspicion that someone employed with a local freight forwarding company was involved in delivering the parcel to Calleja, investigators had tracked down Matthew Borg, a supervisor at a local logistics company.
The company had terminated the employee after it discovered the link.
On August 27, the delivery process had kicked off.
Calleja was subsequently arrested and released on police bail, while investigations continued.
He was then arraigned in March over charges of attempting to import explosives as well as the deadly Polonium-210 and other lethal substances which he had allegedly purchased on the dark web.
The intended victim, however, is not yet known.
Intercepted communications between the seller and buyer, dating back to June 2019, revealed plans for the radioactive material to be administered in lethal doses to a person weighing between 55 and 65 kilos and 165-175 centimetres tall.
The case is being heard by Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech.
Superintendent George Cremona and Inspector Omar Zammit are prosecuting. Lawyer Benjamin Valenzia is defence counsel.
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