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Spaniard accused of massive drug import to stand trial

A Spanish man who was part of a group that allegedly tried to import 300kg of cocaine through the Bundaberg Port Marina has been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court.
A Spanish man who was part of a group that allegedly tried to import 300kg of cocaine through the Bundaberg Port Marina has been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court. Max Fleet

A SPANISH man who was part of a group that allegedly tried to import 300kg of cocaine through the Bundaberg Port Marina has been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court.

No evidence was led and Jose Herrero-Calvo was not asked to enter a plea when he appeared in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday.

He is facing one charge of importing commercial quantities of a border-controlled drug - a charge that attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Magistrate Ross Risson remanded Herrero-Calvo in custody.

The prosecution tendered 102 written statements to the court.

Herrero-Calvo was one of four people, three men and a woman, arrested on November 12, 2011.

The four, all Spanish nationals, have been in custody ever since.

At the time of their arrest police said it was rated as the nation's fifth-biggest drug bust.

The drug bust turned the Bundaberg Port into one big crime scene after the arrest in 2011.

An estimated 300kg of drugs, along with $3.5 million cash, were seized by the Australian Federal Police, who had been patiently waiting and watching the alleged drug syndicate since February that year.

And after months of waiting they struck on November 11, raiding a car allegedly carrying about 90kg of cocaine as it travelled along Bargara Rd.

The raids did not stop there, with officers heading to the Bundaberg Port Marina, where they allegedly found a further 210kg of cocaine aboard the Friday Freedom yacht.

At the time of the arrests AFP national manager of serious crime and organised crime Assistant Commissioner Kevin Zuccato said suspicion was first aroused in February, when large amounts of cash were being laundered and sent overseas from Sydney and the Gold Coast.

Two men from both cities were placed under surveillance and two months later the Port of Bundaberg was flagged as a likely point of entry for the drugs and the annual Port 2 Port Rally a likely cover.

Topics:  bundaberg port cocaine spanish


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