A man has ended up in jail after being caught red-handed trying to pay with counterfeit banknotes when purchasing items at a Paceville club at the weekend.

Nnemeka Henry Ajuonuma, a 28-year-old Nigerian asylum seeker residing at the Ħal Far tent village, ended up on the wrong side of the law when he handed over a fake €50 note at a Paceville bar in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The police were alerted and the fraudster was soon identified, with a search yielding a total of 11 of the €50 banknotes.

Prosecuting inspectors Shaun Friggieri and Leeroy Balzan Engerer explained how the man, who works as a galvanizer, had collaborated fully, claiming that a third party had allegedly handed him the fake money ‘free of charge’.

The man had “knowingly” tried to use the counterfeit currency, inspector Friggieri explained, prompting legal aid defence counsel Martin Fenech to remark that this was an opinion.

Asked whether he was pleading guilty or not guilty, the accused replied: “It’s true.”

When making submissions on punishment, Dr Fenech pointed out that the man had filed an early guilty plea, had cooperated fully with the police and had possessed a relatively minimal amount of fake cash, the total being €550.

The prosecution added that the accused had expressed remorse for what he had done but stressed the gravity of the crime since the harm done could be amplified if the fake notes had ended up in circulation.

Upon the accused’s admission and after hearing submissions by both parties the court, presided over by magistrate Ian Farrugia, declared him guilty and condemned him to a 2-year effective jail term, the minimum prescribed by law.

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