Current Affairs
Hoteliers concerned about drugs being sold from their hotels

Hoteliers are concerned that drug traffickers are using their establishments to sell drugs. This was after four cases of drug trafficking from hotels were discovered in April and a call was made by Magistrate Joe Mifsud for action to be taken even on hotel staff if they turn a blind eye to any criminal activity.

From research carried out by TVM it results that over the last four years, the Police confiscated around three kilos of drugs from various hotels, especially in Gzira, Sliema and St Paul’s Bay. Although the amount may not appear to be very large, sources close to the Police said that in April the incidence of drug trafficking from hotels increased, after three different cases were discovered.

This trend has caused concern among the police force, as drug traffickers are using a new tactic in their criminal activity by renting out several hotel rooms, even for just one night, to traffic drugs without putting their own property at risk.

This scenario appears to be worrying the President of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants, Tony Zahra. “We are very concerned that there is this type of illegal activity in any place which is connected to hotels or restaurants. Our members are definitely also extremely worried and want to ensure that these things do not happen.”

After Maltese as well as foreign nationals were arraigned in Court in April for drug trafficking from hotels, Magistrate Mifsud warned that even hotel staff should be investigated. Mr Zahra said that the MHRA would not defend anyone who breaks the law.

“If there is someone who knows that the property is being used for illegal purposes, then there is the law which will do what it has do do, and arraign people in Court, as the Magistrate said,” Mr Zahra pointed out.

The President of the MHRA said that hotel staff can report suspicious cases but it is not always easy to know what is happening between the four walls of a hotel room. “It is not that easy and simple to catch someone in the act of doing something illegal, because the room is private.”

This year, the Police arrested four people from three different hotels. The largest drug haul was when the Police arrested a French man who had 1.2 grammes of cocaine in his possession. The three other people who were arrested were Maltese and their cases have have brought to Court.