Homeless mobile phone dealer charged with handling stolen goods

The man was denied bail for selling stolen phones 

A man who claimed to be a mobile phone dealer has been detained after he was accused of selling stolen handsets. 

Police had arrested Mahmoud Ben Ramadan, 41, from Libya, after he was stopped together with another man who had been recognised by eyewitnesses as having stolen three mobile phones. Ben Ramadan is understood to have told the police that he earned his living by buying and selling mobile phones.

The other individual is being held at Mount Carmel Hospital and is expected to be charged once he is declared fit to stand trial. 

Ben Ramadan hobbled into Magistrate Marseanne Farrugia’s courtroom this afternoon, resting on a crutch. Inspector Leeroy Balzan Engerer charged the man with offences relating to handling stolen goods, failing to inform the police that he had come into possession of a stolen item, failing to give a good explanation for his being in possession of stolen goods after having been convicted of handling stolen goods and relapsing.

Ben Ramadan denied the charges. His lawyer, Martin Fenech asked for bail, arguing that he wasn’t charged with actually having stolen the items. It was “not a serious offence,” argued the lawyer, pointing out that eyewitnesses hadn’t even recognised the accused, but his friend.

But the prosecution countered, explaining that the man had no fixed address and was currently living at a homeless shelter from which he could leave at any time. There were witnesses who were yet to testify, added the inspector.

“He’s already a recidivist. We want society to be protected. We fear that if given bail we won’t be able to trace him again,” Inspector Balzan Engerer said.

The court, citing the lack of a fixed address and the man’s untrustworthiness, denied bail.

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