What chance have the cops got when these blokes get bail? Billion dollar drug busts….FFS they are connected to big crime gangs and what, a judge thinks they are going to hang around like choir boys for the next court date. 1.5 million for bail is like a 10 minute parking meter charge for these gangs. part of doing business in the big cities. Pathetic and draining of energy for the authorities chasing these peddlers of death and destruction!
Mark Morri Crime Editor
The Daily Telegraph
December 31, 2014
FIVE people charged over two of Sydney’s largest drug operations — with amounts measured in tonnes and bearing a street-value in the billions — have received bail, leaving senior NSW and federal police shocked and furious.
One of the major drug schemes allegedly involved international drug cartels and the other a Sydney bikie gang.
In one case two men accused of taking part in the importation of $1.5 billion dollars worth of drugs into Sydney were granted bail in Central Local Court last week.
The two, Rene Arancinia, 23, from Kogarah and Joshua Hamlin, 34, from Sylvania have been charged with attempted possession of a commercial quantity of drugs.
The pair are allegedly part of a coalition of organised crime groups responsible for importing almost three tonnes of illegal drugs, including 1917kg of ecstasy (MDMA) and 849kg of crystal methamphetamine.
Magistrate Les Mabbutt granted the men bail on December 17 despite the case involving the second-biggest drug bust in Australian history. Both men had to hand up their passports as well as post bail with a security of $1.5 million as part of the conditions.
“(If convicted) These guys are facing life, are allegedly linked to some of the wealthiest drug cartels in the world and are granted bail. I know the surety seems quite high but we are talking about more than a billion dollars in drugs,” a senior NSW police source said.
The illegal substances were intercepted by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service officers. The drugs were hidden in a mixed container-load of furniture and unmarked boxes.
Police will allege the consignment with an estimated weight of almost two tonnes of MDMA and more than 800kgs of methamphetamine was shipped to Australia from Germany and arrived into Australia on 19 November.
Police conducted a controlled delivery of the consignment to an address in Blacktown where its contents were removed and transported to another location. The men have been ordered to appear again on February 4.
Police were just as shocked in Parramatta local court the week before when three men with links to the Comanchero bikie gang were given bail after being charged in relation to the manufacture of $48 million worth of methamphetamines.
The NSW Gang Squad raided a property in Kenthurst in Sydney northwest where they allegedly found 32kg of methamphetamine and other chemicals used in the manufacturing of ice.
A .357 unregistered pistol was also found.
Three men, Emra Oncu, 29, from Stanhope Gardens, Ulas Doga, 25, of Quakers Hill and Koray Unver, 28, of St Clair were later charged with manufacture of a large commercial quantity of prohibited drug, and participating in a criminal group. One was also charged over illegal possession of a weapon.
The men appeared in Parramatta Local Court on December 10.
All three were granted bail on the condition they report daily to police, hand up their passports and relatives deposit their homes as security on their non-appearance.
They were also ordered not to approach, contact or associate with any prosecution or any co-accused or any member of the Comanchero group.
Despite impending changes to the bail act being introduced by current Attorney-General Brad Hazzard, the five men have received bail under the current laws introduced by his predecessor Greg Smith in 2013 that removed the presumption for or against bail.
The new changes mean that people seen as an “unacceptable risk” to the community will be refused bail automatically, and those accused of serious offences will have to “show cause” why bail should be granted.
Despite the urgency to pass the new laws, they are not operational — with Mr Hazzard saying it will take until January 28 to train magistrates, court staff and police in how the changes work.
“Changing the provision of the bail act was obviously critical following the report we had from former … John Hatzistergos,” Mr Hazzard said.
“The government ensured all the provisions were legislated and now we are in the process of making sure all of the people who have to make decisions under the Bail act are properly trained in the new provisions.
“The government has made it very clear to everybody we wanted it underway as soon as humanly possible. The reality is people do need to be trained.”