Three Moroccans between the ages of 14 and 24 were brought to court and accused of using false documentation and trying to escape from Malta to Bergamo.
The Court heard how in one case, a young man who apparently appears to be a minor, and who landed in Malta after spending a week on board a Captain Morgan vessel, originally told the police that he was 17 years old.
The Inspector said that the man continued to maintain that he was a minor, even when he applied for asylum, after being informed that he could not apply because he was underage. Inspector Hubert Gerada said that the accused tried to escape using false documentation belonging to a 19-year-old Italian. After being arrested and handcuffed, at the airport he told the Authorities that he was 14 years old.
It was here that one of the other accused, who claimed to be his cousin, said that while it was true that his cousin claimed to be 17 years old, in truth he was only 14. He went on to add that when they were on board the Captain Morgan, he had told him that if they went to Italy he would say that he was 14, but upon discovering that he was coming to Malta, he said that he was 17.
The Inspector said that since arriving in Malta, social workers have started trying to determine how old he is, and can’t exclude that he may suffer from a condition that makes him look younger than his years.
Another, Atman Mini, 18, was also accused of escaping from the detention centre in Ħal Safi on 31 July.
All admitted the charges brought against them.
Elounde Jousef, 24, was given a 6 month prison sentence, Atman Mini was sentenced to one year imprisonment, while the minor was sentenced to two months in prison suspended for one year. However, the Magistrate warned him not to commit another offence otherwise he would have to send him to jail. The minor will continue to be followed by a social worker.