Man charged over Luqa convenience shop hold up

Man charged with carrying out armed robbery and detaining shop employees against their will is remanded in custody

One of the charges was that of carrying a knife in public without a licence (File photo)
One of the charges was that of carrying a knife in public without a licence (File photo)

A man has been remanded in custody after being arraigned on armed robbery charges.

Inspectors Lydon Zammit, Stephen Gulia and Antonello Magri arraigned 44-year-old Charles Farrugia of Żejtun before Magistrate Astrid May Grima, accusing him of theft aggravated by violence, means, value and time.

Farrugia was charged in connection with an armed robbery at a convenience store in Luqa on 14 October. In addition to the armed robbery charges, Farrugia was also accused of detaining employees against their will with intent to extort money or force them to transfer their belongings, carrying a knife in public without a licence, breaching three sets of bail conditions, handed to him in April 2016, November 2019 and May 2022, as well as with recidivism.

Previous court judgments indicate that Farrugia had a drug problem, which had led him to be convicted of theft in the past.

When asked what he was replying to the charges, the accused entered an emphatic not guilty plea.

Lawyer Roberta Bonello, appearing for the defence, did not contest the validity of the arrest, but informed the court that the defence would not be requesting bail at this stage.

The man had recently been charged in other proceedings and was cooperating with professionals engaged to come up with a treatment plan for him, she said.