Valletta, Oct 9: Thousands of bullets, illegally manufactured at a gun shop in Malta’s second largest island of Gozo, were delivered to the country’s main island and shipped to Libya, a local court has heard here.
Two Maltese gun shop owners and a Libyan man have been charged so far in what is believed to be a ring exporting bullets to Libyan organisations knowing or suspecting it would be used against civilians, Xinhua reported.
The compilation of evidence against two suspects –Feraj Issa Ali Yacoub,31, from Libya, and Michael Azzopardi,53, from Malta, began Monday. The third man, Mario Farrugia,41, from Gozo, is facing separate procedures at the Gozo court over his involvement in the case.
Prosecuting inspectors testified that following a tip-off, they were ordered to keep the Tal-Margu Gun Shop in Rabat, owned by Azzopardi, under watch.
Yacoub was observed leaving the shop and was subsequently stopped by the police while driving. Eleven boxes containing some 23,000 bullets were found in his car, concealed beneath plastic chairs and a sun visor.
Azzopardi’s arrest soon followed. According to inspectors, three or four consignments to Libya had already taken place.
The magistrate put off the case until Nov 18.