MaltaToday: Three wanted by Italy over human trafficking
NEWS | Sunday, 20 January 2008

Three wanted by Italy over human trafficking

Charlot Zahra

Three men residing in Malta have been served with European Arrest Warrants by the Italian authorities in connection with the trafficking of Turkish immigrants from Malta to the Sicilian coast five years ago.
The wanted men are Algerian national Ferhat Guellouma, 56 years old, Maltese national John Xuereb, 61, of St Paul’s Bay, and 46-year-old Turkish national Aslan Yilmaz.
The European Arrest Warrants were issued by judge Maurizio Gurrieri of the Modica courts (Tribunale di Modica) on 12 June 2003 after a request by investigating magistrate Domenico Platania with the assistance of the Ragusa Mobile Squad.
On 10 January, Guellouma and Xuereb were arraigned in the Magistrates’ Court presided over by Magistrate Antonio Micallef Trigona and charged with trafficking in human beings and participation in a criminal organization. They were remanded in custody pending the outcome of the extradition proceedings in the Maltese courts.
A few days earlier, on 27 December last year, Yilmaz was arraigned in the Magistrates’ Court presided over by Magistrate Tonio Micallef Trigona with similar charges.
However the Court suspended the hearing about the extradition proceedings after the defence pointed out that Yilmaz has a pending court case in Malta.
Speaking during a press conference at the Ragusa police mobile squad, the deputy head of the Ragusa Mobile Squad, Francesco Marino, explained how the criminal gang organized the trafficking of Turkish nationals from Turkey to Italy using Malta as a gateway.
Guellouma, who owned a hotel in Malta and Yilmaz, who owned a restaurant at Gzira, hosted the Turkish migrants who were scheduled to be trafficked from Malta to Ragusa on a powerboat.
On the other hand, Xuereb would pick up the men from their accommodation and take them to the powerboat, where he would take them on board the powerboat and make the actual journey at sea between the two islands with the migrants on board.
According to the Italian authorities, the three men were in contact with two Turkish nationals in Turkey, one of whom owned a travel agency.
They also had accomplices in Ragusa – in fact after the two landings on 11 and 20 March 2003 at Punta Braccetto, a beach in the area, the two Tunisian men who would assist the migrants after landing in Sicily were subsequently arrested.
The Turkish migrants would pay at least €4,000 each for the two-leg journey from Turkey to Sicily. They made the first part of the journey from Turkey to Malta by air using a valid a tourist visa.
They would then wait in Malta for their turn for the second part of the journey by boat from Malta to Sicily.


Any comments?
If you wish your comments to be published in our Letters pages please click button below



Go to MaltaToday
recent issues:
10/02/08 | 06/02/08
03/02/08 | 30/01/08
27/01/08 | 23/01/08
20/01/08 | 16/01/08
13/01/08 | 09/01/08
06/01/08 | 02/01/08
30/12/07 | 23/12/07
19/12/07 | 16/12/07
12/12/07 | 09/12/07
05/12/07 | 02/12/07
28/11/07 | 25/11/07
21/11/07 | 18/11/07

14/11/07 | 11/11/07
07/11/07 | 04/11/07

MaltaToday News
20 January 2008

Three wanted by Italy over human trafficking

BirdLife urges PM to withdraw plans for spring hunting

EU still investigating alleged misuse of public service funds at PBS

PBS ends up without news editor on election eve

Court told how VOM did fall under public procurement rules

‘Smart Island’ ads blocked after BA waves the red card

Oh myGov!

Absolutely Ratzinger

Leo Brincat in ‘political panic’ – Austin Gatt

Food and health prices twice those of Europe

AN promise tough law and order regime

Copyright © MediaToday Co. Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 9016, Malta, Europe
Managing editor Saviour Balzan | Tel. ++356 21382741 | Fax: ++356 21385075 | Email