Friday, March 18, 2011

Standen used office to question investor

Geesche Jacobsen March 18, 2011

FORMER senior Crime Commission investigator Mark Standen questioned a man in his office about a $580,000 investment by the businessman Bakhos Jalalaty which the man had allegedly lost, the jury in his trial heard.

Details of the attempts by Mr Standen to help Mr Jalalaty recover the money - including by hiring an American debt collector, and a man called Roger - were contained in a series of phone calls played in the Supreme Court yesterday.

Mr Jalalaty had allegedly been given more than $1 million by a former Crime Commission informer, James Kinch, to build up his business as a ''front'' for the importation of pseudoephedrine Mr Standen, Mr Jalalaty and Mr Kinch were allegedly planning.

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In one call intercepted by police, Mr Jalalaty told Mr Standen he had spoken to Roger about plans to follow home Bruce Way, the man with whom he had invested the money.

In another call, Mr Standen told Mr Jalalaty the debt collector had brought Mr Way into his office and had questioned him about the alleged fraud and Mr Way had provided details of his business partners overseas. ''We had a little chat … [but] it does not sound very promising,'' Mr Standen said.

Later, Mr Standen told Mr Jalalaty he could ''ask the right questions'' but said: ''I can't use my position to do anything.'' When Mr Jalalaty suggested there was a ''good way or a bad way'' to recover the money, Mr Standen said: ''I don't want to know.''

In later calls Mr Jalalaty is heard discussing financial difficulties with his wife, saying he needed to get $500,000, allegedly to repay Mr Kinch, while he is still seeking to recover the money invested with Mr Way.

The jury was also shown a fax sent to Mr Jalalaty by an allegedly fictitious company, MDL Food & Services India, in June 2007. The fax said the company - allegedly linked to the Dutch drug syndicate - had sent him samples of salt, coconut powder and other items.

The trial continues.

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