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Malta pair charged over illicit Playmobil trade

Decapitated knights filched from factory

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A pair of Maltesers have appeared in court charged with fencing stolen Playmobil figures, some of which had been modified to show "knights holding decapitated bleeding heads and arrows lodged in the heads".

Francis Difesa, 51, of St Paul's Bay and Nadine Cutajar, 26, of Ghaxaq, were held following a police investigation into the theft of "figures and parts of figures" from Playmobil's Malta plant.

According to the Times of Malta, Cutajar is charged with offloading the figures on eBay, while Difesa allegedly supplied the booty to a Bugibba shop. The shop's owner will also be charged "in the coming days".

Playmobil representative Anna Agius explained to the court that the little people offered for sale in the shop were "being sold in bags at ridiculously cheap prices which undermined legitimate retailers". Some of the figures on eBay had "not even yet been put on the market by Playmobil".

In both cases, the figures "had not been assembled to Playmobil standards and had not passed safety standards".

According to Agius, this disregard for assembly procedure "could jeopardise the jobs of 800 workers, since all Playmobil figures were made in Malta and had to achieve high standards".

Playmobil takes a very dim view indeed of extreme "customising" of its figures. Back in April, it rattled a miniature sabre at the German evangelical pastor who took a hairdryer to Jesus and stuck breasts on Eve. ®

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