An 46-year-old Ethiopian man has pleaded guilty to being in possession of over 42,400 contraband cigarettes and roughly three kilograms of shisha tobacco after a raid was carried out in his Msida bar.
In view of the man’s cooperation with the police and early admittance of guilt, presiding magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech granted the accused bail against a personal guarantee of €8,000.
The raid on the Msida bar was carried out by Customs officials, who estimate that the cigarettes and tobacco are worth €1,276 which carry an excise duty of €7,496, with an import duty and VAT worth €742 and €1,712 respectively.
The cigarettes were of various brands such as Business Royals, American Gold Eagle, Richman, Pall Mall, Three Stars Light and American Legend. The tobacco packets were of the brands Two Apples Molasses Water Pipe Tobacco and Natural Minst Molasses Water Pipe Tobacco.
Lawyer Veronique Dalli represented the accused while investigations are ongoing.