Attempt to Import Border Controlled Drug – Trial in the County Court
Our client was charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an illegally imported drug contrary to section 11.1(1) and section 307.8(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth) 1995.
He was alleged to have attempted to possess a package which contained methylamphetamine wrapped in bedsheets. The package was intercepted by Customs. Our client was implicated by being accused of trying to obtain the package.
What our client received
- Granted bail
- Not Guilty – all charges.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) commenced an investigation into the importation of methylamphetamine into Australia via packages sent through courier services.
From monitoring phone communications, packages destined for Australia was seized by Border Control. The packages were found to contain a large quantity of methylamphetamine.
The organiser of the importation (one of the co-accused) contacted our client to recruit him to collect the packages. Initially our client was asked for help to collect what he thought was to be ‘construction materials’; however, the conversations became more and more suspicious with the organiser asking our client to obtain a new sim card and a new email address. Our client initially agreed to receive the packages and provided his details to the organiser, however, as time when on, increasingly he became worried about the arrangement.
Meanwhile, a further package was intercepted by DHL at Melbourne Airport, which had our client’s details as the recipient. Inside this package was two quilt cover sets, and some other miscellaneous items, with a bag containing methylamphetamine hidden within. The co-accused in the matter began to pressure our client to find out what had happened to the intercepted package, as it had still not arrived.
Prosecution’s main evidence was
- our client contacted DHL to enquire about the status of the package.
- phone conversation between our client and the co-accused.
The case turned on the question of whether our client knew, or should have known, that there was a risk that the package he agreed to accept for the co-accused contained a drug like methylamphetamine.
Our defence was that our client had no knowledge of the fact that drugs were being imported, and that he was an innocent party to the transaction who had been taken advantage of by the organiser.
When our client was initially charged, we ran a successful bail application which meant that the client was not on remand awaiting trial. This was very significant as we had to wait 2 years between initial arrest and jury trial.
Furthermore, as the client was on a temporary visa, obtaining bail ensured that his visa was not revoked by the Department of Home Affairs whist awaiting trial.
Upon running a two-week criminal Trial in the County Court, our client was found Not Guilty by the Jury, on all charges.
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