Cocaine in cocoa case goes to Vic trial

By admin • 苏州夜网 • 18 Mar 2019

Two Mexican men will stand trial over allegations they smuggled into Victoria cocaine with a street value of up to $234 million.
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Eduardo Radamez Chavez Gonzalez, 34, and Gabriel Altamirano Galindo, 35, are charged with importing 300kg of cocaine to Victoria last November in a consignment of cocoa from their homeland.

Both entered not guilty pleas as magistrate Susan Wakeling on Tuesday committed them to stand trial in the County Court.

Chavez Gonzalez also pleaded not guilty to attempting to possess the 300kg of cocaine, while Altamirano Galindo pleaded not guilty to possessing 4g of cocaine.

Prosecutors and lawyers for the men agree there was a shipment of cocaine sent from Mexico to , but the pair deny having any knowledge of it.

Chavez Gonzalez was operating an import company into Victoria, first shipping cocoa then looking to expand to coffee and salsa.

Prosecutors allege the men were using that business as a Trojan Horse in which to import the cocaine.

Peter Morrissey SC, acting for Chavez Gonzalez, said while it could be a cunning plan there was no evidence that was the case.

He added that while his client had responsibility for the consignment containing the drugs there was “not one squeak of evidence” he knew there were drugs in the boxes.

A police summary alleges Altamirano Galindo arrived in on November 22 last year and planned to visit for 18 days on a tourist visa.

It’s alleged he was found with 4.43g of cocaine in his pocket.

Chavez Gonzalez arrived on November 15 after a previous visit between August 22 and September 1.

Police said the 299.8kg of cocaine had a wholesale value between $53.9 million and $71.9 million but would be worth up to $234 million on the street.

Ms Wakeling said on Tuesday there was enough evidence against the men for them to stand trial.

The pair will face a directions hearing in the County Court on Wednesday.

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