Detained under arrest after requesting money on excuse his vehicle had stopped
Russell Bugeja is facing accusations that he defrauded various persons when requesting money on the excuse that his vehicle had stopped working.
His plea for bail was rejected by the Court that however, ordered the prison authorities to provide help for Bugeja to kick his drugs addiction.
Scores of people fell into the defraud trap of a couple which allegedly stopped a number of passing vehicles and requested money off them because of needing the money to have their vehicle towed after this was said to have stopped working.
In fact their vehicle had not stopped and they never returned the money they were given as they had promised to persons who had given money to them.
Russell Bugeja is one of the persons implicated and was arraigned in Court to appear before Magistrate Audrey Demicoli to face accusations by Police Inspector Godwin Scerri that between March and April he had allegedly defrauded a number of persons and resultantly acquired a sum of money that did not exceed €500.
Bugeja, who said he holds the rank of a Captain was denied bail and is a repeat offender. He requested Court to be provided with treatment for his drugs problem and for support from the Drug Dependency Unit. The magistrate recommended this help by given by the prison authorities.
In comments given to Television Malta, Police Inspector Scerri said that although it was a kind gesture to provide charity the public should be cautious and think before acting.
He said it is quite normal that help be requested and there is nothing wrong in helping out where possible; however, one should be cautious and consider the circumstances and if these are suspicious then it is best to ignore them.
He said a number of persons had become victims of this scheme and appealed that people taken in by schemes like this should report to the Police.
Persons who have been taken in by this fraud and feel scammed should lodge a report at their nearest Police Station to enable the Police to further investigate.
It is understood that money scammed varied from €5 to €50 and was operated in various localities including St Paul’s Bay and Birkirkara.
“Mhux soltu nibla’ xi ħaġa hekk imma kienu atturi tajbin” – jitkellmu iktar nies li ngidmu