600kg of Cocaine intercepted near Byron Bay.
600kg of Cocaine intercepted near Byron Bay.

600kg cocaine bust part of international drug 'syndicate'

A MAN accused of dumping more than 600kg of cocaine off the coast of Northern NSW has been denied bail over fears he may contact other people involved in an international drug syndicate.

Dru Baggaley, the brother of Olympic canoeist Nathan Baggaley, has been charged with one count of possession of commercial quantities of unlawfully imported border control drugs or plants.

The Southport Magistrates Court heard this morning Baggaley is alleged to have been photographed by customs agents at the back of an inflatable boat throwing packages into the water about 40 nautical miles off Brunswick Heads on July 31.

Divers recovered the packages, which they said initial tests showed to be cocaine, weighing about 587kg and estimated to have a street value between $100 to $175 million.

 

A Queensland Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (QJOCTF) operation in collaboration with Maritime Border Command (MBC) has yesterday resulted in the arrest of two men and the seizure of approximately 600 kilograms of cocaine.
A Queensland Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (QJOCTF) operation in collaboration with Maritime Border Command (MBC) has yesterday resulted in the arrest of two men and the seizure of approximately 600 kilograms of cocaine. Australian Federal Police

Baggaley's co-accused Anthony Draper, 54, was denied bail last week.

Baggaley and Draper are both expected to appeal to the Supreme Court of Queensland for bail in the coming weeks.

Commonwealth prosecutor Kate Milbourne said: "It is likely to involve a syndicate and if bail is granted there is a risk Baggaley will contact associates."

Ms Milbourne said the risk was also heightened because by dumping the packages, Baggaley had already shown he was willing to destroy evidence.

The court also heard police found a boat trailer which fitted the boat registered to Baggaley's brother Nathan.

Defence lawyer Jason Grant, of Grant Lawyers, said it had been three weeks since and police had not made any more arrests related to the case.

He said there should be no concern about Baggaley contacting others involved.

"That concern isn't founded, there is not evidence to support it," he said.

Magistrate Louise Shephard disagreed and said the Crown case against Baggaley was strong.

She denied him bail.

Baggaley and Draper's cases will next be in court on Monday.



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