Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A $300,000 washout - Crime Commission handed cash to accused drug pair, court hears

Lisa Davies From: The Daily Telegraph June 07, 2011 12:00AM

THE head of the NSW Crime Commission authorised $300,000 to be laundered through an informant of investigator Mark Standen, only to have the pair later accused of plotting to import drugs and the money disappearing.

Phillip Bradley testified yesterday at the trial of his former employee Mr Standen, who became the commission's primary "handler" for the English-born James Kinch, in March 2003.

The Crown alleges this police-informant relationship ultimately corrupted, with the duo conspiring with Mr Standen's friend and businessman Bill Jalalaty, to import ephedrine into Australia.

Mr Standen denies any knowledge of an alleged plot to import a 300kg-600kg haul of the precursor in a shipment of rice from Pakistan through his friend's company.

Mr Bradley, the head of the NSWCC since 1996, said he relied on Mr Standen as his source of information about Mr Kinch's help to them.

After his arrest in 2003 for drug supply and money laundering offences, Mr Kinch told the commission of a group of Sydney-based business people who had laundered up to $60 million in cash during the previous 12 months.

Ultimately, "a controlled payment of $300,000" was made by Mr Kinch to the money launderers. Mr Bradley yesterday said he had approved the operation and believed that it was successful.

Mr Bradley's second-in-charge, director and solicitor John Giorgiutti, told the court last week the operation was only to "better understand" the laundering operation.

"I think what Mr Kinch brought to the table, so to speak, was that these people were currently active," Mr Giorgiutti said.

Both men agreed the commission had never been able to corroborate Mr Kinch's assertion that $50 million to $60 million was laundered by way of the same people.

Mr Bradley said Mr Kinch continued to provide "further useful information" but by mid-2007, as a covert investigation by the Australian Federal Police began, Mr Standen classified the Englishman as an "inactive" informant.

This was despite alleged ongoing contact between the pair, which the Crown says included a meeting in Dubai and emails in which they allegedly plotted the importation of the drugs.

Mr Kinch had left Sydney in early 2004, all his charges having been dropped.

The trial before Justice Bruce James continues.

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