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Ethiopian Woman Admits Smuggling 16 kilos of Shisha Tobacco, gets Suspended Sentence

An Ethiopian woman who smuggled some 16 kilos of shisha tobacco to Malta has been handed a six-month jail term, which was suspended for two years.

Shisha tobacco.

Saediya Edris, who has humanitarian protection and lives in Rome, was charged with failing to declare 64 packets of tobacco with customs officers at the airport on Wednesday. The importation of this kind of tobacco in Malta is restricted.

She was also charged with failing to pay €551 in excise duty and €156 in VAT on the tobacco, which had a value of €320.

Ms Edris pleaded guilty to the charges.

Magistrate Francesco Depasquale handed down a six-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years.

He also fined the woman Fined €1,655, of which €551 are payable to the customs department.

The court was told that the VAT department could launch separate proceedings against the woman.

Lawyers Jason Grima and Timothy Bartolo appeared for Ms Edris. Inspector Raymond Aquilina prosecuted.

By Robert Muriisa.

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