12,254 pills believed to be ecstasy were caffeine
The Court, presided over by magistrate Miriam Hayman, handed a drug addict a four-month jail term suspended for 18 months after it turned out that some 12,254 pills believed to be ecstasy, were actually caffeine.
The man, Joseph Buttigieg, 39, of Marsa was found to be in possession of the pills on April 26, 2010, and consequently charged with possession and trafficking of ecstasy as well as possession of cocaine. The discovery was made at Buttigieg’s father’s residence, where he lived.
In the statements released to the police, Buttigieg said he used to take cocaine and ecstasy: “Coke when he had money and ecstasy every day”. He had been taking cocaine over the past 10 years and ecstasy for the past three years. He used to take five or 10 pills every day because “they were not good”.
Some 100 pills were found in his bedside table drawer and said this was the lot he used to take from but denied it was for sale. More pills were found in his safe and he had said these belonged to someone who had asked him to keep them for him but used to let him take from them. He had not paid for these pills. Sometimes he used to pay him with cocaine for keeping the pills.
He denied ever selling drugs and insisted the day before his arrest he had taken 50 because the pills were not good.
From tests carried out by pharmacist Mario Mifsud, Forensic Laboratory Manager, it resulted that the pills resulted to contain caffeine, which is not a substance controlled by law.
The court could therefore not find him guilty of drug trafficking however after he pleaded guilty to taking ecstasy and cocaine and not learning from a previous conviction, it handed a suspended sentence and noted he is a candidate for help.