Australia Love-struck Border Force official jailed
Politician escapes prison by climbing out window and fleeing on motorbike
A former Colombian politician who was jailed for electoral fraud has escaped from prison by shimmying down a rope and driving off on a motorbike. Aida Merlano, 43, had been taken to an orthodontist practice in Bogota but managed to climb out of the window using a red rope.Video footage shows her falling onto the street below before hopping onto a waiting motorbike and putting on a crash helmet handed to her by the driver.The pair then speed away.The former congresswoman had been escorted to the doctor's office by a prison guard but was left alone when the doctor suggested the guard wait outside.
A love-struck customs officer who pocketed bribes from a smuggling ring associated with a former colleague has been jailed until at least mid-2021 - in a decision suppressed for months.
Sydney man Craig Richard Eakin, 44, was jailed in August for four years after playing a critical role in a tobacco smuggling ring's efforts to bring millions of untaxed cigarettes into the country.
The gang defrauded Australian coffers of more than $6 million but their exact methods to avoid detection remain suppressed.
Bus driver jailed over crash appeals
The man who was sentenced after injuring six people when he crashed into a notorious Melbourne bridge should be freed, his lawyer says.Jack Aston's driving had serious ramifications for his passengers, himself and his family but it doesn't make him a criminal and he doesn't deserve to be in jail, Catherine Boston said in his court appeal today.
Eakin, a long-time customs official who held a senior role at the Australian Border Force until his arrest in August 2017, pleaded guilty to receiving a bribe while a Commonwealth official and aiding and abetting the tobacco importation.
The Brighton-Le-Sands man received a $100,000 payment as federal police watched him help the group move the goods from Dubai to Sydney.
Eakin's lawyer Rose Khalilizadeh told the NSW District Court in June his conduct was in part due to the influence exuded upon him by former customs officer and then-NSW Police employee Johayna Merhi.
During their romantic relationship, the married Merhi helped counsel Eakin about his role in the smuggling ring while maintaining high-level contact with the Jomaa brothers, the court heard.
Federal Court urged to dismiss case against Frydenberg, Liu
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has urged the Federal Court to dismiss cases against Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Liberal MP Gladys Liu after they were each accused of using official AEC branding in mandarin election signs. Complainants argued signs deliberately misled voters by replicating official AEC branding.The case against Mr Frydenberg was filed by his unsuccessful Independent challenger Oliver Yates who is seeking to force a by-election in Kooyong.The AEC argued it was impossible to know whether voters changed their ballot based on the signs.
Merhi's efforts to both manipulate and support Eakin were on full show in July 2017 - a month before their arrest.
As part of their investigations, federal police staged a break-in at a facility integral to the operation and took almost $100,000 - striking fear into Eakin that the game was up.
Ms Khalilizadeh said the corrupted official didn't behave like "a competent or seasoned criminal".
"In fact, he contacted the police as a result of that break-in," she told a court in June.
"He is well and truly out of his depth."
The court was told the pair realised "someone" knew something about their operation and they'd arrived at "the endgame" with "darkness ... all around them".
"They've got me, baby," Eakin messaged his 43-year-old love interest.
Suspended by his employer upon his arrest, Eakin spent almost two years on strict bail that his lawyer described as "stricter than home detention".
Jailed bus driver who crashed into Melbourne bridge to walk free
The bus driver jailed for injuring passengers after he crashed into the Montague Street bridge will walk from prison after he was found to have suffered a miscarriage of justice.Jack Aston, 56, was last year jailed for five years and three months, to serve 2½ years before being eligible for parole, after he crashed a 3.6 metre-high Gold Bus Ballarat bus into the notoriously low bridge in South Melbourne – which has a three-metre clearance – at 56km/h on February 22, 2016.
He will first be eligible for parole in July 2021, when halfway through his total sentence.
Merhi, formerly of Hurstville, pleaded guilty to bribing a Commonwealth official, aiding and abetting the tobacco importation and dealing with proceeds of crime worth more than $100,000.
She will contest the severity of her five-years-and-six-months jail term in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal in November.
Both Eakin and Merhi's cases had been suppressed until others involved in the smuggling ring faced trial.
Arncliffe man David Reda, 46, was found guilty by a jury of recklessly dealing with more than $100,000 proceeds of crime.
Rockdale brothers Ali Jomaa, 44, and Abbass Jomaa, 56, pleaded guilty to various charges the day they were due to face trial, including offences related to the bribery of Eakin and dealing with more than $1 million worth of crime proceeds.
Reda, the Jomaas and other syndicate players are expected to be sentenced in the District Court in coming weeks.
Kind Principal Writes Letter of Verification to Tooth Fairy After Student Loses Lost Tooth .
“Please accept this letter as official verification of a lost tooth and provide the standard monetary exchange rate you normally use for a real tooth," he wrote.Curt Angeli, the principal at Gillett Elementary School, wrote a letter to the Tooth Fairy explaining that a student at the school misplaced their newly lost tooth while playing at recess on school grounds.
The Incredible Japanese Prison Break
Download Dashlane for free to manage all your passwords: https://dashlane.com/kentobento Use the promo code "KENTOBENTO" to get 10% off Dashlane ...
A look inside Gambia’s infamous Mile 2 prison
The Gambia's new president will formally be sworn in on Saturday which is also the country's independence day. Hundreds of prisoners hope the day will also ...