A man accused of being a drug kingpin has been released on bail after spending two years in preventative custody.
31-year-old Jordan Azzpardi, who would go by the nickname El Chapo Ta’ Malta, is being accused of running a drug distribution network, facing 15 charges which includes trafficking heroin and cocaine.
He had been held in Corradino Correctional Facility since 2019 after being arrested.
He’s been released against a personal guarantee of €150,000 and a third party guarantee of €50,000. He’s also had to hand in his passport and cannot go near the coast or airport. He also cannot communicate with any of the prosecution’s witnesses and needs to sign a daily bail book as well as observe a curfew.
Azzopardi’s girlfriend is also facing similar charges.
Lawyers Franco Debono and Joe Giglio are appearing for Azzopardi.
Azzopardi was notorious for his alleged drug operation, and had become proficient at evading the police’s grasp.
He allegedly had multiple properties around the island that featured fake walls, hard-to-penetrate steel doors, CCTV, stone barricades, and entire vats of acid to throw the heroin and cocaine in if he was ever caught.
Police first tried to raid a property of his back in Birkirkara in 2013
Raids in Balzan, Birkirkara, Marsa, Pieta, Blata l-Bajda and Gżira were all held in an attempt to find Azzopardi. However, he evaded police on at least four different occasions.
However, each raid gave officers more and more evidence and new witnesses to work with as they compiled a case against Azzopardi.
One person who was arrested during raids described how Azzopardi had pulled a knife on him and hit him with it, while another said he was violent towards his employees as well as drug users.
What do you make of this release?