Geraldton methamphetamine trial hears drugs worth $160 million transferred mid-ocean & More Latest News

The seizure of 1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine within the port metropolis of Geraldton nearly 5 years in the past was preceded months earlier by the “successful importation” of lots of of kilograms of the drug, the WA Supreme Court has been informed.

Key factors:

  • The methamphetamine had a road worth of $160 million
  • The drugs have been transferred to the lads’s vessel mid-ocean
  • Their boat almost ran out of gasoline and was compelled to go to Geraldton

The revelation got here initially of a brand new trial for 5 males accused of involvement within the huge drug importation in December 2017 — Jabour Anthony Lahood, 56, Peter Harb, 48, Christos Cafcakis, 48, Serupepeli Anthony Rasaubale, 38 and Khalid Elia Kaena, 57.

The courtroom was informed the methamphetamine, or ice — worth about $160 million — had been transferred onto a 55-foot vessel, referred to as the Valkoista, in a mid-ocean rendezvous with one other vessel dubbed “the Asian boat”.

It is alleged the crew members on every boat offered a half-torn Hong Kong financial institution word to confirm their identities earlier than the switch passed off.

Police have been watching

Commonwealth prosecutor Chris O’Donnell SC mentioned the Valkoista then made its strategy to Geraldton the place a “ground crew” was ready to gather the drugs.

Unbeknown to these concerned, the importation was being watched police, who swooped because the 60 luggage containing the drugs have been loaded right into a van.

Two AFP officerd with faces blurred next to an open van door containing sacks of drugs.

A van containing the methamphetamine was seized by authorities in Geraldton in December, 2017.(Supplied: AFP)

Mr O’Donnell mentioned Mr Cafcakis was one of many crew on the Valkoista, Mr Rasaubale and Mr Kaena have been members of the bottom crew, and Mr Lahood and Mr Harb have been the organisers of the operation and oversaw what was occurring from Sydney.

Mr O’Donnell mentioned the importation had not “come out of the blue” however had adopted a profitable operation 5 months earlier, when the Valkoista had been bought for $350,000.

Those who purchased the boat have been informed they wanted to search for a vessel that had a carrying capability of between 400 kilograms and 800 kilograms.

The methamphetamine smuggled in through the July operation was transferred to the Valkoista mid-ocean, then pushed from Geraldton to Sydney, Mr O’Donnell mentioned.

He mentioned that earlier importation was the start of a “chain of events” that culminated within the December drugs seizure.

Boat operating low on gasoline

The courtroom heard the drugs have been once more transferred to the Valkoista in a mid-ocean rendezvous in December 2017, and whereas they have been meant to be taken again to Hillarys, in Perth’s north, they ended up in Geraldton as a result of that was the closest port and the Valkoista was low on gasoline.

Mr O’Donnell mentioned the “successful” importation occurred after conferences in Sydney involving Mr Lahood.

A van with its back doors open with a cargo of bags containing meth, at Geraldton harbour.

The drugs ended up again in Geraldton as a result of the vessel that was meant to move them was low on gasoline. (Supplied: AFP)

Witnesses within the case are anticipated to incorporate two males who have been concerned within the December importation — the captain of the Valkoista and one of many “ground crew”.

At the beginning of the case, Justice Michael Corboy knowledgeable the jury members there had been a earlier trial involving the lads, but it surely had concluded for causes he mentioned weren’t related to something they should think about.

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