A Magistrates’ Court on Sunday warned against the rising number of those caught travelling through Malta without valid documents saying this was a “constant phenomenon” which possibly undermined the security of the state.

This warning was issued during the arraignment of Adam Al Kali Hasaballa, a 28-year-old asylum seeker from Chad, who was arrested while on his way to board a flight to Pescara using an Italian passport and residence permit issued in the name of another person.

One could not close an eye to the fact that the immigration laws of the country were being breached, the court said, adding that in times of upheaval, conflict and terrorism, even within countries close to Malta’s shores, such illegal migration could pose a risk to innocent third parties.

In cases such as the one at hand, where a request for asylum had been turned down, the court urged local immigration authorities to take immediate action to repatriate the rejected applicant.

Upon the accused’s guilty plea and his admission to having been living on the streets without a fixed residence, the court, presided over by magistrate Joseph Mifsud, deemed that an effective jail term was the appropriate punishment.

In view of the accused’s early guilty plea, his cooperation with the police as well as his clean criminal record, the court condemned him to a six-month jail term to be followed by repatriation upon serving his punishment.

Inspector Franks Sammut prosecuted.