The eight men charged following the largest ever seizure of meth in Australian history – 1.2 tonnes of meth allegedly brought by boat into Geraldton – have made further brief appearances in court.
Patrick Bouhamdan, Christos Cafcakis, Waseem Hermiz, Khalid Keana, Serupepeli Rasaubale, Joshua Smith, Stephen Baxter and Sean Dolman all appeared via video link from various prisons around WA on Wednesaday, with their cases being adjourned.
In late December, a state and Federal police operation in Geraldton resulted in Australia’s biggest ever methamphetamine bust, with more than a tonne of the drug allegedly seized from a boat moored at the Mid-West city’s marina.
The joint operation culminated in a pre-dawn raid on the 16m vessel and the arrests a charges of possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
It is understood the drug haul could have fetched more than $1 billion dollars if it had been allowed to hit Australian streets.
Authorities claim the alleged Australian-based crime syndicate had travelled more than 500km in rough seas in a former fishing charter boat to collect it from a “mother ship” before returning to Geraldton.
Police will allege a boat, the Valkoista, arrived at the Geraldton port, and the drugs were then offloaded into a white van. Shortly afterwards, the vehicle was intercepted by police as it reversed from the dock.
Police seized 59 bags that each contained about 20kg of methamphetamine, as well as one more bag which was still on the boat.
Five of the men are being held in Greenough Regional Prison, with at least one of them unable to travel to Perth last week because of the effects of Tropical Cyclone Joyce, the court was told.
Perth Magistrates Court was told that a “mini-brief” of evidence was being prepared by the Commonwealth prosecutors, which it is hoped will be handed to various defence lawyers in the coming weeks.
The cases of all eight men were transferred to the Supreme Court and adjourned until March.
No applications for bail were made by any of the men, who hail from New South Wales and South Australia.