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Cocaine ring with links to Malta busted by Italian police

 - International - Sep 15 SHARE ON:
Cocaine ring with links to Malta busted by Italian police

An international cocaine smuggling ring with connections to Malta was busted by Italy’s finance police on Tuesday. The ring is run by the ‘Ndrangheta crime group, with over 400 officers carrying out dawn raids across the country wielding 57 arrest warrants following a four year investigation. The investigation was dubbed ‘Crypto’ and delved into investigating over 90 suspects from many known mafia families. 

The cocaine was shifted in large quantities from Northern Europe and Spain to Italy, hidden in false bottoms of car boots. The drug was sometimes moved it on to Malta by boat. Captain Carmine Virno, whose team lead the investigation, revealed how the group communicated via a ‘complex code matching numbers to apparently random letters of the alphabet, without any spaces or punctuation.’ 

Families of the ring in Gioia Tauro and Rosarno in Southern Italy forged direct contacts with South American suppliers through Dominican Republic intermediaries. Another suspect living in Germany in a mob stronghold acted as both courier and another intermediary with dealers. Using disposable German sim cards, the traffickers communicated purely by text message in order to avoid identification through their voices. 

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Algerian athlete’s 10-year-ban for refusing to fight Israeli could spell end of his career

 - News - Sep 15 SHARE ON:

Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine has recently been handed a 10-year ban after forfeiting from the Olympics because of fears of facing an Israeli opponent. The fight he forfeited was supposed to be held on the 26th of July and had he won, he would have had to face Israeli judoka Tohar Butbul. This isn’t the first time Fethi has done this, as he also forfeited from the 2019 world championships for the same reasons.

 

He will now miss the next two Olympics in Paris and Los Angeles but since he’s 30 will most probably not compete in Brisbane 11 years from now. Speaking to Sky News he said “We worked a lot to reach the Olympics, and the news came as a shock, a thunder. […] But the Palestinian cause is bigger than all of this.” 

In a statement by the IJF (International Judo Federation) they said that Fethi and his coach had  “used the Olympic Games as a platform for protest and promotion of political and religious propaganda” Fethi and his coach will also be banned from all IJF events meaning this will probably spell the end of his career.

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Refunds for all Maltese residents forced to quarantine in hotel says Bernard Grech

 - News - Sep 15 SHARE ON:
Refunds for all Maltese residents forced to quarantine in hotel says Bernard Grech

Following public outcry for Maltese residents to no longer quarantine in hotels after coming from dark red countries, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech issued a statement calling for refunds to all who had to do so. In a tweet, Grech said that besides changing the policy following pressure from the Nationalist Party, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne should see to the refunds of all the residents. 

He concluded his tweet saying that the government should stop issuing rules that cannot stand up to human rights scrutiny. The health minister is expected to address these concerns and amend the regulations today 15th September 2021 following the rise in stories in which Maltese residents expressed concerns over the quarantine system for travellers. Do you agree with Grech’s refund statement?

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Photo Source: Business Insider, Bernard Grech Twitter

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Man charged with masturbating near kid’s playground released on bail

 - Local - Sep 15 SHARE ON:
Man charged with masturbating near kid’s playground released on bail

A 36-year-old man who allegedly masturbated in public in the vicinity of a children’s playground has been released on bail against a personal guarantee of €500. Ahmed Osman Ibrahim, a Marsa resident from Somalia, was arraigned before magistrate Lara Lanfranco on charges of public indecency on Tuesday. Police inspector Sarah Zerafa revealed that police were informed by two passing children who spotted him committing the sexual act near the Paola playground. 

Lawyer and legal aid of the accused Joe Bonnici entered a plea of not guilty on Ibrahim’s behalf and requested bail. The inspector stated she would have insisted on treatment had he admitted the charge but things become more worrying when the accused stated that there were more ‘black people like me in the area.’ He claimed to have run away from police to catch a bus but there was no bus stop close by. Apart from bail and the personal guarantee, Ibrahim was placed under curfew and ordered to sign a bail book three times a week. 

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Photo Source: Kamra tal-Periti, Foursquare

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