Barman in suspected drug trafficking case granted bail

Cocaine and cannabis were found on his premises

A barman allegedly caught red-handed trafficking drugs from his St Paul’s Bay establishment was on Wednesday granted bail after pleading not guilty.

Jonathan Fenech, 33, of Rabat, was arrested on the spot shortly after midnight on Tuesday, by officers from the Qawra Police station who were acting upon a report about underhand drug-trafficking allegedly taking place inside the establishment managed by the accused.

Police from the local police station and the Rapid Intervention Unit assisted by sniffer dogs, converged upon the site and spotted two men behaving suspiciously.

A quick search on two yielded a small amount of drugs. One was also in possession of a knife.

Proceeding to search the premises, the police discovered some 30 grams of cannabis and an equal amount of suspected cocaine, allegedly intended for trafficking.

The drugs were seized and the bar owner was arrested on the spot.

He was on Wednesday charged with aggravated drug possession and trafficking and operating the commercial activity without the necessary police licence.

Upon hearing the man plead not guilty and make a request for bail, duty magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace upheld the request against a deposit of €1,000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000.

The man was further ordered to sign the bail book at the Rabat police station on a daily basis while observing a curfew between 8pm and 7.

Inspector Godwin Scerri prosecuted. Lawyer Christopher Chircop was defence counsel.