Former manager admits to stealing €7,000 from shop safe

Needs help to kick gambling habit

A former local fast food chain manager with a serious gambling problem was remanded in custody after he admitted to raiding the safe of the Valletta outlet.

Romanian-born Ionut Dorin Soimosan, 31, who declared in open court that he had been employed as manager at the food chain’s Valletta shop “until Sunday”, was arraigned on Tuesday under arrest when he pleaded guilty to the theft.

The prosecution informed the court as to how a police report had been filed at the Valletta station about the alleged theft of some €7,000 from the shop safe.

CCTV footage soon put investigators on the tail of the prime suspect who was subsequently tracked down and arrested at the Malta International Airport where he was just about to catch a flight back to his homeland.

During his arraignment today, the man pleaded guilty to the aggravated theft and voluntary damage to the shop safe, expressing his wish to settle the bill with his former employer.

Lawyer Noel Bartolo, assisting the accused as legal aid counsel, drew the attention of presiding magistrate Gabriella Vella to the fact that his client had a serious gambling problem and therefore needed assistance.

In view of this, the court upheld the defence’s request for a pre-sentencing report which was to be drawn up by the director for probation and parole within one month from today.

Meanwhile, the court remanded the accused in custody.

The case continues.

Inspectors Priscilla Caruana Lee and Jeffrey Scicluna prosecuted. Lawyer Maria Karlsson appeared parte civile.