Chinese women used as “front man” for drug importation conspiracy

Honest face was used, court told

Chinese triad operatives used the honest face of the franchisee of Helensvale Pizza Hut to be the “front man” of a conspiracy to import up to $3 million of heroin and methamphetamine into the country (Trafficking Dangerous Drugs), a court was yesterday told.

Sim Ying Wong, of Sunnybank, was denied bail in Brisbane Magistrates Court, with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions arguing she was a flight risk and in danger from other members of the criminal syndicate.

Wong was arrested on Tuesday and is charged with conspiracy to import up to 200kg of heroin and up to 200kg of methamphetamine by concealing the drugs within wooden pergolas to be delivered to Australia from China. Her solicitor Bill Potts, of Potts Lawyers, argued that while other members of the alleged conspiracy appear to have been bragging about their criminal exploits, his client had no criminal record.

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Ormeau Couple Arrested for Distributing Deadly Drug ‘Bath Salts’

Thomas Chamberlin | From: The Courier-Mail | November 15, 2012 12:00AM

Bath salt drugs police seizure
THE EVIDENCE: Detective Superintendant Steve Holahan with some of the seized drugs. PIC: Richard Waugh. Source: The Courier-Mail

THE alleged distributors of a deadly drug linked to Australia’s first “bath salts” death have been arrested after raids of about 20 businesses and homes in southeast Queensland. Continue reading Ormeau Couple Arrested for Distributing Deadly Drug ‘Bath Salts’

Drug Importer’s Jail Cell Hell

Ava Benny-Morrison |  19th July 2012 6:00 AM | Sunshine Coast Daily

EXPOSED to beatings, sexual assault and threats while cramped in a third world jail cell with eight other prisoners, Stephen Ploderer was living a nightmare.

The 37-year-old was a world away from his Sunshine Coast home waiting to be returned to Australia to face drug importation charges.

Ploderer was arrested in Malaysia in 2010 after Australian police discovered his attempt to import almost 1kg of amphetamine from the Netherlands through the post. Continue reading Drug Importer’s Jail Cell Hell

Couple jailed for 11 years after claiming they imported cocaine after threats from Colombian drug cartel

by Mark Oberhardt | From: The Courier-Mail  | August 26, 2011 12:59PM

A COUPLE who claimed they attempted to import a large amount of cocaine to the Gold Coast because they were threatened by a Colombian drug cartel were jailed for 11 years.

The Chief Justice Paul de Jersey praised the Australian Federal Police for their efforts in the case which involved drugs sent from South America to Australia via Germany.

“There are those who say the war on drugs cannot be won. But police and the courts are doing their best to rebut this,” Justice de Jersey said.

A Supreme Court jury in Brisbane took about four hours last week to find Geoffrey Kennedy, 53, and his partner Jennifer Maritza Romero Maya, 30, guilty of attempting to possess cocaine at the Gold Coast in mid-2008.

The five-day trial heard that authorities in Germany intercepted two parcels bound for Australia and found high-grade cocaine paste hidden in hydraulic cylinders.

A controlled operation was conducted with the Australia Federal Police involving the first parcel being sent to Australia but the second never left Germany.

The two parcels, which originated in Colombia but were sent from Argentina, contained a total of 1865 grams of cocaine with a purity of 86 and 87 per cent.

The wholesale value was $400,000 to $500,000 with a street value of $1 million to $1.9 million.

The trial heard the New Zealand-based couple came to Australia on an apparent holiday where they spent $4270 on apartments, couriers and mobile phones to disguise their efforts to get the drugs.

A central point to the trial was whether they had attempted to import the drugs because of threats made by drug dealers against Romero Maya’s stepfather.

Barrister Greg McGuire, for Kennedy, said it should be accepted his client had been told of the threat and this was shown by him telling police he was “piggy in the middle”.

Romero Maya’s barrister Kate Greenwood instructed by Mark Williams of Potts Lawyers said her client should be sentenced on the basis of the threat.

But prosecutor Josh Hanna said there had been no mention of a threat on covert police tape recordings made of the couple’s conversations.

“The idea of such a threat is a fanciful concoction,” Mr Hanna said.

The Chief Justice Paul de Jersey agreed with Mr Hanna and said he found on the evidence there had been no threats.

“It was telling that there was no mention of threats in the recordings,” he said.

Justice de Jersey found it had been a joint enterprise between the couple and he rejected that they were “misguided novices”.

He said he accepted the pair were more than couriers.

Justice de Jersey sentenced both to 11 years jail with a non-parole period of seven years.

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Click here to read the Gold Coast Bulletin article dated 27 August 2011.