HUMAN RIGHTS FOR EACH PERSON REGARDLESS OF AGE, RACE, RELIGION OR POLITICS
HOME | PRISONERS & PRISONS | EXPERIENCES | BOOKS & PRODUCTS | HOW YOU CAN HELP | LATEST NEWS | EMAIL
LATEST NEWS
Accidental Drug Mule - Traffickers hid 10kg of cocaine in tourist's bag
AN Australian tourist became an unwitting drug mule when 10kg of cocaine was concealed in his luggage without his knowledge.

The accidental smuggler's role in an global trafficking ring allegedly headed by Sydney men Shayne Desmond Hatfield and Michael Hurley was revealed for the first time in a Sydney court yesterday.

A Brisbane man, identified in court as Gary Macdonald, checked two bags on to a flight from Argentina on October 8, 2004 -- but, while he arrived home, his bags did not.

A police informant later revealed baggage handlers were paid to remove the bags in Sydney before Customs could inspect them.

Hatfield and 10 other men yesterday faced Central Local Court for the start of committal proceedings in their cases, charged with a range of drug supply offences.

The tourist has not been charged with any offence -- he denies any knowledge of the drugs, the court heard.

His denial is reminiscent of a more celebrated case -- that of Australian Schapelle Corby.

Corby claimed she was unaware marijuana had been placed in her bags when she was arrested in Bali -- but she failed to convince judges and was jailed for 20 years.

For Hatfield and the others, yesterday was like a school reunion as they sat squashed in the same large dock at Central Local Court.

They laughed, chatted easily and waved at family and friends in the public gallery as prosector David Staehli opened the case against them.

Hatfield's girlfriend Virginia Broun even blew kisses at her partner.

Mr Staehli told Magistrate David Heilpern the alleged chiefs of the operation were Hatfield, Michael Hurley, Sean Peter North and Les Mara -- the two latter men "could have been charged if they were located".

Mr Staehli said a man named Tom had approached the NSW Crime Commission in December 2004 and spilled the beans on his association with the alleged racket, which allegedly smuggled 200kg of cocaine into the country.

The case will resume on Friday, with Tom expected to testify on Monday.

Hurley is not part of theproceedings. Mr Staehli said he was "too ill to attend".

The defendants

  • Shayne Hatfield, 40, Bondi.
  • Ryan Chandler, 28, Tweed Heads.
  • Ian Chalmers, 40, Paddington.
  • Fawaz Elmir, 37, Padstow.
  • Norman Niass, 55, Petersham.
  • Gilbert Gedeon, 28, Winston Hills.
  • Stephen Sevastopoulos, 50, Kings Cross.
  • David Dowe, 70, Coogee.
  • Robert Pavan, 56, Maroubra.
  • Joe Zaiter.
  • Mario Alexandridis.

CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE NEWS PAGE
FREEDOM IS A RIGHT OF ALL HUMAN BEINGS IN A WORLD WHERE LIFE IS VALUED AND PEACE MAY FINALLY BE A POSSIBILITY
*
MAKE A DONATION
*
TELL A FRIEND
*
HOME | PRISONERS & PRISONS | EXPERIENCES | BOOKS & PRODUCTS | HOW YOU CAN HELP | LATEST NEWS | EMAIL
Just in case you forgot - read the Universal declaration of Human Rights
Copyright - An important message to website owners:
All information at this site is Copyright 1996 - 2005 'Save-A-Life' & 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise. As with all our information AND more specifically, information relating to CAMPAIGNS AND/OR PRISONERS we have been granted special permission to disclose this type of information by the families and/or by the detainee themselves. Therefore, if you wish to use any of this information to re-create in your own website or elsewhere, please contact us - save breach of copyright. News stories are reprinted for archival, news reporting and information use only and are credit where possible.
Click here for the legal stuff