Jordan Azzopardi’s ‘workers’ spill the beans – one says Jordan hit him with a knife
29-year-old Jordan Azzopardi and his girlfriend were taken to Court under armed escort from Corradino Correctional Facility, and compilation of evidence against them started being heard before Magistrate Doreen Clark. Azzopardi is facing no less than 15 charges, including trafficking of cocaine, heroin and cannabis from various localities which were raided by the Police in recent weeks.
Inspector Mark Anthony Mercieca, who led investigations into this case, gave a detailed chronological account about raids which were carried out in four different localities, and about how this led to Jordan Azzopardi’s arrest.
SUSPICIONS ABOUT JORDAN AZZOPARDI AND RAIDS
Inspector Mercieca explained that over the past months the Police were informed that Jordan Azzopardi had in his hands residences where sales and consumption of drugs were taking place. The Police started carrying out surveillance, and the first raid was carried out in Birkirkara.
The Inspector added that this was followed by a second raid in Gzira, where a person who was arrested said he used to purchase drugs from Jordan Azzopardi, besides giving other information about places from where Jordan Azzopardi was to sell drugs, mentioning residences in Balzan and Marsa. The Police started carrying out surveillance on these places, and whilst a search on the Balzan residence proved negative, a raid was carried out on the Marsa place, and a number of persons were arrested and arraigned in Court. The Police then raided another place in Gzira.
JORDAN AZZOPARDI’S ‘WORKERS’ SPILL THE BEANS
Inspector Mercieca continued to testify that the last raid was carried out at Blata l-Bajda, and one of those arrested admitted that the stuff being sold came from Jordan Azzopardi, and Azzopardi used to set up the residences in this manner, with metal doors, stone barricades and CCTV, as well as containers with acid for disposal of the drugs so that the Police would not find anything. The arrested person further stated that a few days earlier, Jordan Azzopardi had gone to the place and had assaulted him, and had hit him with a knife.
The witness further stated that some weeks earlier, he had been contacted by a prisoner who had released a statement against Jordan Azzopardi. The prisoner had revealed that Azzopardi had a number of places, including in Birkirkara, Marsa and Blata l-Bajda. He further stated that he had asked Azzopardi to sell him some firearms, including an AK47 machine gun and hunting shotguns. This prisoner mentioned how Jordan Azzopardi used to be violent against his workers and against drug users.
JORDAN AZZOPARDI’S ARREST
Inspector Mercieca explained that on 13 March the Police arrested Jordan Azzopardi through an arrest warrant issued by the Court against serious suspicion that Azzpardi was trafficking drugs. On the day the warrant was issued, the Police started surveillance on Jordan Azzopardi, and simultaneously information was received that he was making purchases with false currency.
The Inspector added that he sent Police officers to follow Azzopardi, and they found him in the Sliema area in a black car with registration JMS-511. Also in the car was a female passenger, as well as a male passenger in the back. These were Azzopardi’s girlfriend, whose name cannot be disclosed on Court orders, and Mario Abdilla. They started going around various shops in Sliema, and Mario Abdilla began purchasing smal items and paying with 100 euro counterfeit notes. An order was issued for their arrest, and they were followed to the McDonalds parking area in Gharghur.
When the female got into the car, the Police followed her to the residence in Busietta Gardens, Madliena where she lives with Jordan Azzopardi. At the same time Jordan Azzopardi was arrested at the McDonalds parking area. For one moment when he was being handcuffed, Jordan Azzopardi ran off and managed to run for some metres, until he was again apprehended. Two mobile phones and joints were found in his car.
The female was arrested near the house, and a search was carried out in the Madliena residence, where traces were found of what is suspected as being drugs. Jordan Azzopardi was escorted to Madliena shortly afterward, whereupon he requested his lawyer and contacted him. The search at the Madliena residence then continued.
THE SEARCH AT WARDIJA
Inspector Mark Anthony Mercieca stated that the Police got to know from investigations that Jordan Azzopardi used to enter a place in a farm in the limits of San Martin, Wardija. Azzopardi initially denied this was owned by him, but when informed a search was to be carried out, Azzopardi asked to speak to his lawyer. The Police took Jordan Azzopardi on site, and he himself identified the key to the place and opened up.
The Inspector gave a breakdown of what was found at the Wardija place:
• Burnt foil was found in the kitchen, as well as a black sock with the word Jordan embroidered on it;
• Various crushers containing substances suspected as being drugs, as well as mobile phone cards, were found in an open area;
• Boxes containing documents were found under a wash hand basin in a bathroom, as well as 36 bullets and keys to a number of vehicles;
• When the Police were about to enter another room, Jordan Azzopardi informed them of the presence of a firearm in a wardrobe. The Police found a cocked semi-automatic. Five laptops and three iphones were also found. These were new and still sealed.Two passports, activated and in the name of Jordan Azzopardi, were also found.
• On the second floor the Police entered a bathroom and found two teaspoons containing a white substance. Digital scales were also found, and a burner and five bottles of ammonia and bags containing coins were found on the floor.
• Also on the second floor, in a bedroom, the Police found a gas cylinder and a commode with a plate containing ammonia and traces of a white substance, as well as various teaspoons and strainers with a white susbtance. A number of unused plastic bags and two digital scales and foil containers with a substance were also found. An empty gun box was also found, with three bullets inside.
Inspector Mercieca further testified that after the search at Wardija, Jordan Azzopardi was taken to Police HQ in the presence of his lawyers. On the following morning the Inspector spoke with Mario Abdilla, who stated that he had a financial and drug problem. Abdilla said Azzopardi had met him at St Paul’s Bay and asked him to accompany him to change 100 euro notes. He added that out of every 100 euro, Azzopardi used to give him 10 euro.
On Friday morning Azzopardi, his girlfriend and Mario Abdilla were arraigned under arrest. Jordan Azzopardi and his girlfriend did not admit to the charges, whereas Mario Abdilla admitted and was sentenced.
The case has been put off to 29 March.
Lawyers Arthur Azzopardi, Alfred Abela and Rene’ Darmanin are Defence Counsel.