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Australia Two men accused of using 'black flights' to smuggle drugs between Australia and PNG refused bail

09:26  13 august  2020
09:26  13 august  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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a person standing next to an airplane: The alleged drug operation was exposed when a light plane carrying 500 kilograms of cocaine crashed in PNG in July. (Supplied: Russell Saigomi) © Provided by ABC NEWS The alleged drug operation was exposed when a light plane carrying 500 kilograms of cocaine crashed in PNG in July. (Supplied: Russell Saigomi)

A sophisticated drug syndicate used covert flights, encrypted devices and false identities to import drugs from Papua New Guinea to northern Queensland, a Melbourne court has been told.

Two men have been ordered to be extradited to Cairns to face charges over a drug ring which was exposed when a light plane carrying 500 kilograms of cocaine crashed in PNG on July 26.

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Salvatore Formica, 33, and Pierino Forni, 61, were denied bail by Magistrate Trieu Huynh today.

Mr Formica played a "senior role in the syndicate", Magistrate Huynh said.

He is charged with importing a commercial quantity of drugs over a 300kg shipment of cocaine in August 2018.

Both men are charged with conspiracy to import drugs over the July flight.

Mr Forni is charged with dealing with the proceeds of crime.

Prosecutors allege the syndicate used so-called "black flights" where planes flew very low to avoid detection.

Mr Forni holds a pilot license and owns a plane, the court was told.

The court heard someone had attempted to access their phones remotely in order to delete data.

Magistrate Huynh noted allegations of a sophisticated international crime ring which made use of high-quality fake identities, the movement of sums of cash and the use of encrypted devices.

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Two men have been charged after a joint operation between the NSW Police Force’s Organised Both men have been refused bail and will appear Parramatta Local Court on Thursday 19 March 2015. “This is one of the most damaging drugs available in Australia , so to have more than 25kg

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"The accused have access to organised, coordinated operations in a number of criminal associations in Australia and offshore," he said as he gave reasons for refusing to release them on bail.

Case against accused 'weak', lawyers say

Defence lawyers have indicated they will take the matter to the Victorian Supreme Court to stop the men being sent to Cairns.

The court heard Mr Formica's wife was due to give birth to their child in the next few weeks, and that Mr Forni had a chronic heart condition.

In seeking to be bailed, both men had offered to wear electronic monitoring bracelets at their own expense.

Their lawyers had argued the case against them was weak, based on speculation and a string of assumptions.

But Magistrate Huynh disagreed, saying the men had not made out that there were "exceptional circumstances" to be eligible for bail.

The Australian Federal Police worked closely with PNG authorities as well as Victoria Police to investigate the syndicate.

Man accused of filming himself raping woman denied bail

  Man accused of filming himself raping woman denied bail Australia and Papua New Guinea are looking to further tighten their defence ties, with plans to negotiate a bilateral security treaty. PM Scott Morrison held a leaders conference online with his PNG counterpart this morning.

He was accused of using his diplomatic immunity to smuggle drugs to France on board a private jet. Was the grandson of founding Saudi monarch Abdulaziz, and son-in-law to the Saudi deputy defence minister, trying to covertly raise money for black operations?

This is a list of current and former Australian citizens whose detention in prisons outside of Australia or execution is noteworthy. The list includes those whose arrests or sentences are considered noteworthy for the following reasons: the prisoner was arrested and charged with or convicted of notable crimes

The court was told the investigation was complex and would take at least 6 months to complete.


Video: Woman arrested after kicking police officer in the chest (9News.com.au)

Woman arrested after kicking police officer in the chest
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