In Court, a 47-year old man and his son were acquitted of charges of fraud from a petrol station at Żebbuġ and of stealing diesel from the station by using counterfeit money as the men did not know that the money was false.
The case goes back to June 2005 when Joseph Mary Cardona and his son Christian, who was 16 years at the time, were accused, among other charges, of being in possession of counterfeit money, they defrauded a petrol station of Lm25 and stole fuel from the station.
Prosecuting officer Maria Stella Attard told the court that the police had received a report by the Falcon Limited directors, the owners of the petrol station, saying they found counterfeit money deposited in the fuel dispenser. They showed the police a video taken by security cameras regarding the transaction that led to the identification of the accused. The two were arrested and Lm10 and Lm5 were found on the father but the money was not counterfeit
In a statement to the police, the accused – who works in a butcher’s shop – said that on the 30th of June he stopped to refill the car with diesel and he paid with money he earned during the day. He denied knowing that the money was counterfeit and wanted to pay back the amount, but the company director Joe Falzon refused, saying the company suffered serious consequences.
Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera noted, among other things, that the alleged video was never exhibited in Court and acquitted the accused from all charges.