Two men were sentenced to an effective jail term after they admitted to stealing a 12-foot boat and trying to flee Malta.
Appearing before Magistrate Ian Farrugia, two Sudanese men aged 18 and 23, admitted to the charges brought against them.
Police Inspector Lara Butters from the immigration section told the court that the police informed by the Armed Forces of Malta on Friday that a boat was detected some eight nautical miles off the Malta Freeport. The boat had been reported stolen from Birżebbuġa earlier that day.
The court heard that the men admitted during their interrogation that they had stolen the boat to leave for Italy. They ended up stranded because they ran out of fuel.
The two men were alone on the boat which was later returned to its owner.
The 23-year-old man was sentenced to 18 months in prison while the 18-year-old man was jailed for 20 months.