Pandora’s Court Of Law: What Really Happens To Seized Illegal Substances In Malta?
Huge amounts of narcotics are seized by customs officers and enforcement bodies every year, then examined by court experts, detailed, registered and photographed to be used for exhibiting in court.
Substances are given reference numbers and details pertaining to the specific case and are stored in ‘safe’ vaults whose locations are never disclosed, to prevent any breaches or other transgressions from ensuing.
This is where it gets tricky. These procedures are all documented, both in writing and through video footages which record the process of registering and storing these illegal substances.
Fast forward to the multiple sittings and offender/prosecution arraignments which most likely will include numerous sitting deferrals and lengthy proceedings till the actual sentence is carried out and the evidence will eventually no longer be needed for court exhibition.
This is where the order for destruction of the substance is carried out and again the procedure is “documented”.
Once a date of destruction is chosen, the substances get taken to a Waste Treatment Facility whose location is again not disclosed of. In the presence of the Assistant and Deputy Registrar it is supposedly incinerated.
For the whole process to be made as transparent as possible, another representative from the waste management team should also be present. Their details are kept disclosed for the sake of their own safety.
This is again documented via video recording up to the time when the vehicle carrying these substances exit the treatment facility unladen.
The only enigma in all of this procedure is that no media house or member of the public is ever allowed to witness the destruction process, which would make it fully transparent to the public.
Also, the actual destruction is not filmed or shown in any way to the relevant authorities.
Lovin Malta has long been chasing after the authorities to be present for one of these processes, but we were always refused the chance. Police have said it is up to the magistrates, who in turn cannot speak to the media.
Questions about this continued invisibility boggles the curious mind.
When it’s clear that narcotics is one of the most profitable vices today, both the supply and demand seem to be entwined well and mostly let to operate uninterrupted.
Some measure of public reassurance that the entire legal process is working as it should is vital, as we believe the integrity of our nation’s administration should be wholly integral.
Does this raise your curiosity levels to max? Sound off your comments below