Thursday, August 25, 2011

Standen: The Inside Man

By Marian Wilkinson 

ABC Four Corners

August 25, 2011 14:37:00

The story behind the police investigation that brought down Mark Standen, one of Australia's top crime fighting law enforcement officers.

He was considered a crime busting untouchable, a man at the heart of the nation's war on drugs. He had access to the very best police intelligence on organised crime both here and overseas. But some time in the past decade Mark Standen turned bad.

"I was shocked. I was really shocked. But then I started to think in retrospect, yeah I can understand how it happened." Defence Barrister

On Thursday 11th August, after a five month trial, a jury found Mark Standen guilty of conspiring to import and supply 300 kilograms of pseudoephedrine, a chemical that could produce $60 million worth of "ice", or crystal meth. He was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Now reporter Marian Wilkinson tells the story of Mark Standen's rise and fall. Using evidence from the court case, audio records of phone taps and police interview tapes, she tells how a top crime fighter crossed to the dark side and how police on three continents tracked him and brought him to justice.

It is a tale of greed, duplicity and betrayal that has forced Australia's law enforcement agencies to re-assess what they are doing and who they can trust. Others are calling for a Royal Commission into the scandal over concern that it is still not clear how far the corruption associated with Mark Standen's activities may have spread.

Presented by Kerry O'Brien, "Standen: The Inside Man" goes to air on Monday 15th August at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 16th August at 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 at 8.00pm Saturdays, ABC iview and at



KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Welcome to the program.
Fighting major drug traffickers is a dangerous and frustrating battle at the best of times for Australia's law enforcement agencies.

That struggle becomes immeasurably harder when a senior officer in their own ranks is corrupt, and that is precisely what has happened at the heart of drug law enforcement in this country.

One of the nation's most senior crime fighters, Mark Standen, was last week found guilty in a Sydney court of conspiring to import and supply pseudoephedrine, a substance that can be used to make the lethal street drug known as ice, or crystal meth.

Standen was also convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Until his arrest, Mark Standen had been Assistant Director of the New South Wales Crime Commission, a secretive body with sweeping powers, charged with investigating big drug traffickers.
Standen was at the centre of the fight against organised crime in New South Wales, trusted by ministers and police commissioners.

Marian Wilkinson has spent months following Standen's extraordinary trial. The most damning evidence presented against him came from scores of telephone calls and emails intercepted by Federal Police, as well as meetings recorded through listening devices.

Tonight on Four Corners you will hear the conspiracy unfold, from Sydney to Dubai and Amsterdam, as we play many of the recordings that led to Mark Standen's downfall.

While actors have recreated the scenes, the voices are those of the conspirators, including Standen.
Marian Wilkinson's story opens with the actual police tape recording of Mark Standen's arrest.

(Four men in suits walk menacingly across a car park)

MARIAN WILKINSON, REPORTER: In the underground car park of Sydney's elite crime fighting agency, a police tape recorder is switched on and a brilliant law enforcement career killed off.

(Excerpt Australian Federal Police surveillance recording of the arrest of Mark Standen)

AFP OFFICER: Mark Standen.

Mark, I want you to listen to me very carefully okay?

We're here to arrest you for conspiracy to import into Australia a commercial quantity of border control precursors.

Do you understand that?

MARK STANDEN: I hope you're kidding me.

AFP OFFICER: I'm not, mate. I am deadly serious. Do you understand that?

MARK STANDEN: Is this a gee up?

AFP OFFICER: No it's not. Do you understand that?


AFP OFFICER: You are now under arrest. You are not obliged to say or do anything, as anything you say or do may be given in evidence. Do you understand that?

MARK STANDEN: Yeah. It's got to be a gee up

(End of excerpt)
MARIAN WILKINSON: The arrest of the New South Wales Crime Commission's powerful assistant director on drug trafficking charges was barely believable, especially to the man himself when Australian Federal Police pulled out a pair of handcuffs.

AFP OFFICER: Alright, what we are going to do now is we'll go back to the office in our car, okay? Paul is going to put the cuffs on you.




AFP OFFICER: Because you're under arrest.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Mark Standen, the state's most influential drug investigator, was now an accused drug trafficker, his reversal of fortune painfully apparent when he was brought to Federal Police Headquarters in Sydney

MARIAN WILKINSON: For the first time in his life, Standen sat on the wrong side of the interrogation table.

(Excerpt from recording of Federal Police interview with Mark Standen)

AFP OFFICER: And your occupation?

MARK STANDEN: Um... Assistant Director, Investigations, New South Wales Crime Commission.
AFP OFFICER: It's alleged that you conspired with Bill Jalalaty and other persons to import into Australia border controlled precursors.

Do you understand the allegation?


AFP OFFICER: What can you tell me about that allegation?

MARK STANDEN: Ah, well nothing specific in relation to any conspiracy to import anything because that's not true.

(End of excerpt)
CLIVE SMALL, FORMER NSW ASSISTANT POLICE COMMISSIONER: I had had a phone call from someone who just said 'Have you heard Mark Standen's just been arrested?'

And I quite frankly couldn't believe it, - nor could the person who rang me, in fact.

PHILLIP BOULTEN, DEFENCE BARRISTER: I was shocked. I was really shocked. But then started to think in retrospect, 'Yeah, I can understand how it happened'.

He was somebody who was always affable, who seemed to be able to discuss things on the same level as my clients who he was trying to lock up.

MIKE GALLACHER, NSW POLICE MINISTER: Every time a police officer comes to the notice of oversight authorities and there are questions about their conduct, it rips at the heart of these organisations.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Last Thursday, a Sydney jury convicted Mark Standen of conspiring to import and supply 300 kilograms of pseudoephedrine. Police said it could make around $60 million worth of the illegal street drug ice, or crystal meth, renowned for its destructive impact on addicts.
The prosecution team also proved Standen had perverted the course of justice in a case that has rocked law enforcement circles right around Australia.

PHILLIP BOULTEN: He was at the centre of the Crime Commission's decision making about major drug trafficking, and as the Crime Commission was at the centre of most big drug investigations, Mark Standen was a very significant figure.

(Footage of Mark Standen checking confiscated drugs)

MARIAN WILKINSON: Standen had been trusted with the most sensitive intelligence on organised crime from every police agency in Australia and around the world. His fall has inflicted massive damage on the New South Wales Crime Commission.

The once "untouchable" image of the New South Wales Crime Commission and its aggressive boss, Phillip Bradley, has been shattered. When Bradley was first briefed by the Federal Police Commissioner, he simply did not believe Standen could be corrupt.

CLIVE SMALL: Philip would have been absolutely shocked, and I'm sure that even at that time he would not have been able to fully believe it. He would have thought 'This will sort itself out'.

(Police surveillance video, 29 May 2008, showing Mark Standen talking to another man)

MARIAN WILKINSON: The operation to convict Mark Standen turned cop against cop. He was secretly put under intense surveillance by his Federal Police colleagues in an investigation that took almost a year.

Also targeted was Standen's friend, Bill Jalalaty, a flamboyant Lebanese food importer from western Sydney. Jalalaty is married to a former federal police officer who was a close friend of Standen's.
During secretly bugged meetings, the two talked about a big drug shipment arriving in bags of rice.

(Federal Police recording of a conversation between Mark Standen and Bill Jalalaty)

MARK STANDEN: You're in control of who knows.

BILL JALALATY: I get the bags and burn them.

I have no problems with that. He wants me to weigh everything.

MARK STANDEN: Don't want them, don't want them to go anywhere.

(End of recording)
MARIAN WILKINSON: The case against Mark Standen played out like an episode of the police drama The Wire. The conspirators' plotting is caught in hundreds of intercepted telephone calls, listening devices and emails.

They tell a riveting story with a timeless truth: Even the so-called untouchables can be corrupted by big global drug traffickers with millions at their disposal.

(Photo of Jimmy Kinch)

This is the drug trafficker who Federal Police say corrupted Standen, a tough British organised crime figure called Jimmy Kinch, who acted as a middleman for several Dutch drug syndicates.

(Footage of a news interview with a masked Jimmy Kinch in a Thai jail)

REPORTER: You don't want go to Australia ?

JIMMY KINCH: I would love to go back.

REPORTER: Do you have to go back?

JIMMY KINCH: I love to go back, but not in chains.

(Jimmy Kinch being lead by a Thai officer)

MARIAN WILKINSON: Kinch is now under arrest in Thailand.

For years he was Mark Standen's top criminal informant. But police now believe Kinch and Standen were playing a double game which was only exposed with the help of Dutch police.

In 2007, Commander Jan Boersma was tracking a Dutch drug syndicate shipping batches of pseudoephedrine to several countries including Australia.

COMMANDER JAN BOERSMA, DUTCH NATIONAL CRIME SQUAD (subtitled): So this is real organised crime right, international, active across the whole world, meetings everywhere.

So and then they were working on getting the batches back the whole time because there was still 200 kilos there.

That was, in our view, intended for Australia.

MARIAN WILKINSON: In Amsterdam, Dutch police had an internet cafe under surveillance. A fax sent from the cafe in May 2007 rang alarm bells.

The sender was a big time Dutch drug trafficker called Loek Weerden.

The fax was addressed to a business in western Sydney. It was Bill Jalalaty's warehouse.

COMMANDER JAN BOERSMA (subtitled): This fax was quite a crucial point in this large investigation. This fax shows that Weerden wanted to send rice from Pakistan to Australia, and that he was in contact with this Bill Jalalaty.

And it is important that the parties are in contact with each other. And it shows something about the smuggling line which is slowly developing.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Dutch investigators immediately alerted Federal Police. Within a week they had Bill Jalalaty's telephone bugged. What they heard stunned them.

(Federal Police recording of telephone conversation, 24 May 2007)

BILL JALALATY: G'day mate.

MARK STANDEN: How you going?

BILL JALALATY: Good - yourself

MARK STANDEN: Ah, not bad.

BILL JALALATY: Everything alright?

MARK STANDEN: Yeah, yeah okay. Are you on target for your trip?

BILL JALALATY: Yeah, yeah, I'm just, um...

MARIAN WILKINSON: Their colleague from the New South Wales Crime Commission, Mark Standen, was on the other line

MARK STANDEN: Cool - excellent.

BILL JALALATY: Thursday's my last day.


(End of recording)
MARIAN WILKINSON: For five years Standen had worked with federal police and Dutch police pursuing the Dutch drug syndicates. Now, police feared, he was being corrupted by them.

COMMISSIONER JAN BOERSMA (subtitled): That is of course the most shattering news, right. He was not just an ordinary police officer but an important police officer, also in the collaboration with Europe.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Federal Police, with the help of the Dutch and a trusted few in the New South Wales Crime Commission, relentlessly targeted Standen - always fearful the operation would leak.

COMMISSIONER JAN BOERSMA (subtitled): We made sure that his name did not become known anywhere, not in the investigation team either. Only the team leader, only one detective and me, were aware of the name of Mark Standen.

We gave him a code name, Rupert.

MARIAN WILKINSON: The first step to unravelling this conspiracy was investigating the history of Jimmy Kinch's close friendship with Standen.

CLIVE SMALL: I think people are still trying to reconstruct Kinch's history in Australia. I think what is known so far is that he apparently came to Australia some time in the late '90s as a representative of a Dutch drug syndicate, and was the middleman for that syndicate and a number of drug traffickers in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Eight years ago in Sydney, Kinch was arrested in an operation lead by Mark Standen. But the drug trafficking and money laundering charges against Kinch were mysteriously dropped.

These documents buried in the office of the New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions until the Standen trial explain why. They show Standen argued hard with his boss, Phillip Bradley, and the DPP to drop charges of money laundering against Kinch.

In exchange, Kinch would plead guilty to drug charges. Standen wrote to the DPP arguing he had turned Kinch into an "invaluable criminal informant".

Kinch, he wrote, had provided, "a detailed account about people he knows in the drug trade...."

PHILIP BOULTEN: The Crime Commission goes into bat for their informants. They're prepared to engage in discussion with the DPP and at times with the Crown Law offices to get the right result so far as they see it.

MARIAN WILKINSON: But once the DPP dropped the money laundering charges, Kinch refused to plead guilty to the drug charges. Mysteriously, Kinch's drug charges were then also dropped after the key witness left the country.

In a bizarre twist, Standen also persuaded the Crime Commission to let Kinch launder some of the Dutch syndicate's drug profits, on the promise it would reveal how the syndicate washed its Sydney drug money.

It was called a "controlled operation".

PHILLIP BOULTEN: Whenever money or drugs are let loose and are no longer under the physical control of the police there is a risk that despite the fact that it might be called a controlled operation the money ends up being totally uncontrolled.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Kinch took $300,000 in a bag to a money exchange in the Sydney CBD. The cash was never seen again

The Crime Commission insisted the operation was a success because the money exchange operators were prosecuted. But they were small fry compared to Kinch.

PHILIP BOULTEN: The value of the informant needs to be measured against the value of the target. But where informants are themselves huge sharks, there would rarely be much public interest in providing them with extraordinary benefits for information or evidence against people who are less criminally culpable than them.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Jimmy Kinch was a huge shark but he was allowed to leave Australia a free man in 2004 after he agreed to give up just $900,000 of his criminal profits to the New South Wales Crime Commission.

Mark Standen would justify the deal after his own arrest by claiming Kinch was a brilliant informant who intended to go straight.

MARK STANDEN (from Australian Federal Police arrest interview): He gave up, as far as I was concerned, pretty much everyone he ever dealt with. Um, I was happy with his story, as most people were at the time.

I think that Kinch gave up all the, all the syndicates, all the groups that he worked with. He named the people. He talked about what they did, how they did it, what their transfer was.

That's a pretty impressive start that most people don't do. Plus he gave seizures up he didn't have to give up. Um... plus he gave up money, plus he gave up their, their money laundering um, outlet. He gave it all up.

And I thought, 'Okay, that's, that's pretty impressive'.
MARIAN WILKINSON: But Standen did not reveal that he and Kinch had become friends, or that Kinch began secretly sending him money after the crime boss left Australia.

That money was sent through Bill Jalalaty's business in Sydney. It began in 2005 when Kinch paid Standen $47,000 supposedly for laser eye surgery.

After his arrest, Standen, admitted taking money from Jalalaty but not from Kinch.
(Excerpt from recording of Australian Federal Police arrest interview with Mark Standen) 

AFP OFFICER: You mentioned before that Bill has probably given you between 15 and 20,000 dollars. Has...

MARK STANDEN: Yeah, and that might be more. I think. That might be- that might be more than he has given me.

AFP OFFICER: Would it be much more?

MARK STANDEN: No, I said that might be more than what he has given me.


MARIAN WILKINSON: Standen's principal line of defence was that Bill Jalalaty paid often paid him money because they planned to go into business together.

MARK STANDEN: We've got all manner of business plans um... Ah...

AFP OFFICER: What sort of business plans?

MARK STANDEN: Well, many and varied. Um, if you know him, you' ll kind of understand.
(End of excerpt)

MARIAN WILKINSON: But it was revealed in court that Standen not only put his friend Bill Jalalaty into business with Kinch, he was also paid close to $150,000 directly by Kinch.

PHILLIP BOULTEN: That's improper. It's irregular. Um, business and commercial interests should never coincide with law enforcement objectives.

MARIAN WILKINSON: In early 2006, Bill Jalalaty flew to Bangkok for his first meeting with Kinch, after Standen introduced them.

Over lunch Kinch told Jalalaty he would advance him $1 million, supposedly to invest in his food business.

Before they parted, Kinch ripped a bank note in half and handed it to Jalalaty saying, "My man will have the other half".

MARIAN WILKINSON: When Bill Jalalaty returned to Sydney he drove to Coogee Beach in Sydney's east.

As he later told police, a European man flagged him down. They matched the torn banknotes. The man then threw a sports bag in the back seat.

In the bag was one million dollars in cash. Jalalaty said when he got home he stashed it in the bedroom he shared with his wife, a former Federal Police officer and drug investigator.

CLIVE SMALL: I think any person who sees a partner bringing- walking into the home with a million dollars in cash would have cause for grave concern.

However, if you are a former police officer or a- a police officer with 15 years' service - and have been working in the AFP National Crime Authority, which is supposedly investigating major drug offenders and money laundering and that, then I would say that you're left in no doubt: We have a situation here where my partner is doing something very badly wrong, and it could be only one of two things, and one of those things - and the most likely thing - is involvement in drugs.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Jalalaty's wife Dianne refused to talk to Four Corners. But the former Federal Police officer testified in court her husband had confessed to her he was planning to import drugs in 2007.

(Scenes of Dubai at night)

In January 2007 Dubai was still a booming Middle East metropolis when Standen flew in and met Jalalaty and Kinch.

In an act of bravado, Standen took his young girlfriend, Louise Baker, who he called "The Princess". She also worked at Crime Commission but later said she was unaware of Standen's real relationship with Kinch.

What happened in Dubai between Kinch and Standen would become of great interest to the Federal Police.

(Recording of Australian Federal Police arrest interview with Mark Standen)

AFP OFFICER: Under what circumstances did you meet James Kinch in Dubai?

MARK STANDEN: Um, we met fairly briefly. Um, we had dinner at the Marrakesh Restaurant.

Um... we had dinner, had a drink at the bar and split.

AFP OFFICER: Who instigated that meeting?

MARK STANDEN: Um, Kinch and I, essentially.

(End of recording)
MARIAN WILKINSON: Australian and Dutch police believe not long after the Dubai meeting, Kinch began organising a big drug shipment for Australia with a Dutch syndicate.

COMMISSIONER JAN BOERSMA (subtitled): First of all you form a picture. That's what you do, you tap phones.

If conversations come through that you can bring back to meetings, for example, and you think these meetings are important, then you go and observe at those locations and very slowly a picture emerges of the Weerden group.

MARIAN WILKINSON: In May 2007 Kinch arrived in Amsterdam and was introduced to Loek Weerden and his syndicate, not realising they were under surveillance by Dutch police Dutch prosecutor Cees van Spierenburg says the Amsterdam drug syndicate dealt directly with Kinch to organise the shipment to Australia.

CESS VAN SPIERENBURG, DUTCH PROSECUTOR: They have been seen and or heard making any contact with with Jimmy Kinch, and especially the telephone tapping learnt that this connection was there, that they made ah appointments to get together and to try to get - in the end - ephedrine or pseudoephedrine from Pakistan to Australia.

MARIAN WILKINSON: But first Weerden and the syndicate wanted a trial run - a shipment of rice from Pakistan to Sydney to test whether it could get through without being intercepted Weerden telephoned Bill Jalalaty to set up the test shipment using his code name, Rashid.

(Federal Police recording of telephone conversation, June 26, 2007)


LOEK WEERDEN, DUTCH DRUG TRAFFICKER: Hello Rashid? We are going to arrange now- I spoke with my friend. We are going to arrange now two shipments, complete with all the documents.

BILL JALALATY: Yep, yep...

LOEK WEERDEN: So I think within 14 days we have it on the move.


(End of recording)

MARIAN WILKINSON: Around the same time, Federal Police intercepted this telephone call from Jalalaty to his bank, transferring money to Standen.

(Federal Police recording of phone conversation, June 2007)

BANK EMPLOYEE: Good morning, how are you?

BILL JALALATY: Can you do an electronic transfer for me?


BILL JALALATY: I'll give you the details.


BILL JALALATY: And the name of the person is Mark M-a-r-k.


BILL JALALATY: And the surname is S-T-A-N-D-E-N.






BILL JALALATY: I'm just looking to see anything else I need. Um $5,000, please.


BILL JALALATY: Can you let me know when you've done that?


(End of recording)

MARIAN WILKINSON: Federal Police soon had Standen and Jalalaty under physical surveillance.

The two often met right around the corner from the Crime Commission in Sydney.

When they spoke, even on the phone, Standen would constantly ask Jalalaty for money.

(Federal Police recording of telephone conversation, 27 September, 2007)

MARK STANDEN: Is anything happening on that ah deposit front 'cause I notice nothings, uh... nothing's surfaced there

BILL JALALATY: No, no I got that- I got that last night the, eh your numbers, when I got home, while I was staying at Paddington...

MARK STANDEN: Yeah 'cause it takes- 'cause it takes like 24 hours to happen.

BILL JALALATY: Eh... no well, I'm direct depositing it today.

MARK STANDEN: Yeah, but they go in overnight see, so it still won't go in till tomorrow.

BILL JALALATY: You reckon?

(End of recording)
MARIAN WILKINSON: Despite a salary of around $250,000 a year, Standen's debts were huge and his spending lavish.

(Footage of Louise Baker walking into court with a coat over her head)

His girlfriend Louise Baker was forced to give evidence that Standen gave her gifts of Tiffany jewellery and $2,000 dollar designer handbags.

As Standen's debts mounted, so too did his demands for cash. Police found over $200,000 in unexplained money in his accounts.

CLIVE SMALL: The opportunity was there. He thought he could get away with it because the risks of undertaking it weren't- didn't appear greater than the chances of success, and he went for it.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Standen later claimed he made money gambling on horses. But investigators found evidence he was getting money from Kinch through Jalalaty when they intercepted his computer at the Crime Commission and discovered a rich email exchange.

The three suspects used pseudonyms. Standen was often called, "Maurice", Jalalaty was christened "Mirtyle" and Kinch "B52", or JoJo.

In August 2007, Kinch answered a plea for money from Standen saying:

(Email displayed onscreen as in the original correspondence)

VOICEOVER (reading email as Jimmy Kinch): "yes of course I can help you. I do not understand why you have to ask jojo to tell mirtyle??? I thought that she was your friend?/

I told her at the beginning that you could have (within reason) whatever you needed,,!!

Also if she was doing anything right she should have some profits to share,,!!

MARIAN WILKINSON: Cafe Laurella on Sydney's upper North Shore is normally a genteel spot to sip a latte. But in September 2007, Federal Police caught Standen and Jalalaty in a muffled conversation there.

For the first time the two were overhead discussing what sounded like a drug importation worth millions of dollars.

(Federal Police surveillance recording, 15 September 2007)

MARK STANDEN: Allowing to pay for all costs they'd probably make from 100 to 120 a kilo.

BILL JALALATY: So if they bring in 100 kilos it makes 12 million profit and he goes half with... (inaudible) biggest mule and we go we go thirds.


(End of recording)

MARIAN WILKINSON: But Jalalaty first had to get the trial rice shipment through from Pakistan to Sydney.

And he was making a mess of it.

Flustered, he kept calling the drug syndicate in Amsterdam and their agents in Pakistan.

Kinch feared Jalalaty would attract police attention. He repeatedly emailed Standen complaining about Jalalaty who he called Mirtyle.

(Email from November 2007, displayed onscreen as in the original correspondence)

VOICEOVER (reading email as Jimmy Kinch): "hello Maurice, i have not been avoiding you!! I have been waiting for positive news from mirtyle, honestly i do not know where you found her??? She is a complete walter mitty... Mr. bean of the business world...

MARIAN WILKINSON: But Kinch needed Jalalaty for the moment. He was a legitimate importer with a warehouse and a knowledge of shipping.

The drug syndicate's trial shipment arrived in Sydney that October, and this time it was only rice.

CESS VAN SPIERENBURG: They had test sendings sent from Pakistan to Mr Jalalaty's company to see whether or not that would be found by the- by the customs in in Australia, and to test the line between Pakistan and Australia, to be able to be sure that the container they were about to send would end in Mr Jalalaty's company.

MARIAN WILKINSON: With the trial run completed, police say the conspirators now launched plans for the real pseudoephedrine shipment to Jalalaty, enough to manufacture large quantities of highly addictive crystal meth or "ice" for the Sydney market.

In late November 2007, at Plato's Cafe near the Crime Commission, Jalalaty told Standen he'd talked to a member of the Dutch syndicate and the drug shipment would be big when it arrived.

(Federal Police surveillance recording, November 23, 2007)

BILL JALALATY: I said, 'Look how do I know when it's coming in and how much it's going to be?' and he said 'First will probably be 60 bags of five kilos'.

He said 'How many bags in a container?' I said 'About four and a half thousand'.

MARK STANDEN: Customs are different. Customs will x-ray it, put a dog over it, x-ray it - like, they do different things.

BILL JALALATY: Yeah, but only if they detect it.


BILL JALALATY: Yeah, if they ever suspect anything, that's the only time you'll get caught.

MARK STANDEN: But sounds like he's trying to do it a number of times - like, how many times you want to do this?

(End of recording)

MARIAN WILKINSON: Standen would later tell his trial he knew for months Jalalaty was talking about a drug shipment, an "unlawful scenario", as he put it, but he thought Jalalaty was making it up.

Standen said he played along with the businessmen so he would keep giving him money.

But as the plans for the drug shipment got serious, it was Kinch who ensured Standen got money. Just before Christmas, Kinch emailed Jalalaty with new instructions to pay his friend $30,000.

(Email from December 2007, displayed onscreen as in the original correspondence)

VOICEOVER (reading email as Jimmy Kinch): Can you give our friend a xmas card and put $30 in it so that she can have a decent Christmas....Send him my love xx..."

MARIAN WILKINSON: Soon after, police heard Jalalaty on the phone to Standen promising to deliver what sounded like a special Christmas gift.

(Federal Police surveillance recording, 4 December, 2007)

BILL JALALATY: G'day mate.

MARK STANDEN: Hey, Geo (phonetic).

BILL JALALATY: Next week I need to give you a Christmas ham from B52, a nice Christmas ham.

You know, our famous Christmas hams?

MARK STANDEN: The best in the planet...

(End of recording)

MARIAN WILKINSON: A few days later, Standen got into Jalalaty's car near the Crime Commission not realizing it was bugged.

Police then heard Jalalaty hand him a box. Inside was a huge ham and a bundle of cash.

(Federal Police recording, December, 2007)

BILL JALALATY: Your ham's there and your and your present so just be careful... box there.

MARK STANDEN: Oh cheers.

BILL JALALATY: Box it has a ham in it.

MARK STANDEN: There really is ham.



BILL JALALATY: Yeah, well two Christmas presents - one from me and a good one from my friend.

(End of recording)

MARIAN WILKINSON: The drug syndicate's container finally arrived in Sydney aboard the Sinotrans Shanghai in April, 2008.

Disastrously, the documents needed to clear the container did not come.

The Pakistani agents for the drug syndicate had doubled crossed them. It sounded like a bad movie plot. They were holding the documents for ransom, demanding more money.

Increasingly nervous, Jalalaty rang the syndicate's man, Loek Weerden in Amsterdam.

(Federal Police of a telephone conversation, 29 April, 2008)


LOEK WEERDEN: Hi, Winnie (phonetic)

BILL JALALATY: Hello, my brother.

LOEK WEERDEN: Hello, I just woke up so that's why.

BILL JALALATY: Okay, let me let me just tell you what happened. I received the documents today.


BILL JALALATY: It was in an express post from... Have a guess what's inside.

LOEK WEERDEN: No, I don't know.

BILL JALALATY: A ransom letter


(End of recording)

MARIAN WILKINSON: Their container was stuck on the wharves.

At this critical point, Standen called a senior colleague at Customs. His pretext was a dubious tip off from Kinch about another drug shipment from China.

But police believed Standen was trying to see if the syndicate had been sprung.

(Federal Police recording of a telephone conversation, 12 May, 2008) 

MARK STANDEN: Mark Standen

STEVE: Yeah, Mark. Steve.

MARK STANDEN: G'day Steve. How you doing?

STEVE: Good thanks. Yourself?

MARK STANDEN: Not bad. Thanks for calling back. I just got a bit of info I thought I'd pass to you. All quiet in the western front is it?

STEVE: Yeah, yeah as far as we know. We had a couple of (inaudible) last week with er... offshore.

MARK STANDEN: Yeah, Steve we've got we've got an informer who has a very good history with us. Um, he lives in Europe.

STEVE: Yeah.

MARK STANDEN: All he knows is that it's crystal MDMA and it's in a consignment of of bath salts from China.

(End of recording)
MARIAN WILKINSON: Standen signalled Jalalaty everything was okay. But by the time Jalalaty got the shipment into his warehouse, the Federal Police had surveillance cameras inside and out.

(Footage from Federal Police surveillance video of Jalalaty's warehouse, 28 May 2008)

They had also secretly searched the rice bags for the pseudoephedrine.

But in a major blow for the investigation, the Federal police found no trace of the drugs. The double crossing Pakistanis agents had apparently ripped off the syndicate.

CEES VAN SPIERENBURG: Yeah, I think they've been ripped by the Pakistanis.

In the end it appeared there was no ephedrine at all. So they had paid a lot of money - I think it was 180,000 Euros that they paid in advance for those 600 kilos of ephedrine - and it never arrived in Australia.

MARIAN WILKINSON: After their initial shock, Federal Police quickly realised their case was not lost. Jalalaty was still convinced the drugs were in the shipment Police intercepted an email from Jalalaty to Kinch with a thinly coded message that the drugs had arrived.

(Email from displayed onscreen as in the original correspondence)

VOICEOVER (reading email as Bill Jalalaty): I finally got the kids home. They look okay but I will need to keep an eye on them for a while... I have aged ten years worrying about my precious kids. I will update you tomorrow on their progress.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Shortly after, Kinch sent a coded email from Bangkok to Standen with what looked like instructions on the shipment.

(Email from displayed onscreen as in the original correspondence)

VOICEOVER (reading email as Jimmy Kinch): Just heard mirt is home from the doctors. She says the children are feeling a lot better, can you advise her to keep them off school and leave them in bed as long as possible better not to remove any bandages until the doctor says.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Standen met Jalalaty the next day, unaware they were under surveillance. Standen was sounding nervous, complaining that Kinch's coded emails about the shipment were too obvious.

(Montage of surveillance photos)

But the game was already up. In Amsterdam, Dutch national police launched a coordinated raid on Weerden's drug syndicate.

COMMANDER JAN BOERSMA (subtitled): You have to imagine there were several arrest squads involved of the Dutch Police Service. I believe three, so that was about 40 men, about 200 people from the National Crime Squad were put to work and we first made the arrests of the first of the key members of the group.

We waited with the searches and once everything had quietened down, we started searching, and the effort of those people did take a number of days.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Shortly after, Federal Police arrested Bill Jalalaty and took him into custody.

When he called his wife later from his cell he was shattered.

(Federal Police recording of telephone conversation, 4 June 2008)

BILL JALALATY: Okay, I'm sorry to put you through all what you're going through but I'm paying the price, believe me. I'm in a little dog house...


BILL: ..with a two inch plastic mattress on the cement floor. But I deserve it, so I 'm sorry.

DIANNE: Just listen, just remember...

BILL: Are you okay, sweetheart?

DIANNE: I 'm okay. Just remember we love you...

(End of recording)

MARIAN WILKINSON: Jalalaty finally pleaded guilty to conspiring to import the pseudoephedrine last year.

After his arrest, Standen denied any knowledge of the drug shipment. He blamed Jalalalty and Kinch for deceiving him. He said he repeatedly warned them he only wanted to be part of a legitimate food importing business.

(Excerpt from recording of Federal Police interview with Mark Standen, 2 June 2008)

MARK STANDEN: I was happy to give it a go. I was happy to do the olive- you know, the olive oil. I was happy to do all those things um... but I just said, "Just, you know, be careful - straight, strict business. Be careful".

Um... like everybody, I can kind of see how this has panned out, see how it's gone off the rails. I can see how I look in the midst of it.

(End of excerpt)

MARIAN WILKINSON: Mark Standen maintained this defence throughout his long trial right up until his conviction.

(Photo of Mark Standen on his wedding day)

Many are now asking how the young Mark Standen managed to rise through the ranks to became the top drug enforcement official in New South Wales?

PHILLIP BOULTEN: Mark Standen's conviction, the evidence that's been produced in court that led to his conviction and other material in the public domain suggest that there should be further investigations of what role he played - especially what relationships he had with other people who were in a position to pay him cash.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Investigators now trawling over Standen's past career in the Federal Police and the New South Wales Crime Commission are examining his close friendships with other criminal informants like the notorious sex offender and drug trafficker, Neville Tween.

Law enforcement sources have told Four Corners these informants may also have paid bribes to Standen.

(Phillip Bradley arrives for media conference)

Ever since Standen's arrest, the New South Wales Crime Commission head, Philip Bradley, has been resisting calls for a Royal Commission into the scandal.

REPORTER: Just how much of a damaging blow is this to the Crime Commision?

PHILIP BRADLEY, NSW CRIME COMMISSION: Oh, it's a very damaging blow to the Crime Commission. There is no doubt about that.

REPORTER: There have been calls for a Royal Commission over this. What do you say to that?
PHILIP BRADLEY: Oh, well this is an isolated incidence of one person engaging in crime. I don't think that justifies a Royal Commisison.

MARIAN WILKINSON: But Bradley is now on the way out, and his organisation is under investigation by the state Police Integrity Commission.

The New South Wales Police Minister is also resisting calls for a Royal Commission but he has announced a Special Commission of Enquiry.

MIKE GALLAGHER, NSW POLICE MINISTER: I think the organization has come to a point where now there needs to be a change. There needs to be a degree of oversight, a significant degree of oversight for confidence in the public sense, confidence within the police force - but also confidence within the organisation - that it can stand the test of scrutiny.

CLIVE SMALL: The management of organisations that operate in secrecy are always a major challenge in an open society.

But having said that, I think it would be too easy and naive to simply blame the Crime Commission for this problem. Um, I think there needs to be a far broader enquiry, one that is conducted publicly and conducted by an independent royal commission.

MARK STANDEN (On recording of interview with Federal Police): It looks worse than what it is, I know. That's the bit that I know.

MARIAN WILKINSON: Whether or not there is a Royal Commission could well depend on Standen himself.

Senior law enforcement officials have told Four Corners there are criminals who want him dead.
Mark Standen now faces two choices. He can maintain his innocence and spend years in jail fighting appeals, or he too could turn informant against the colleagues and criminals he seduced over his thirty year career.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Of course, governments usually don't like the idea of Royal Commissions unless they have a fair idea of what it will find. But the ramifications of the Standen case will not easily be dismissed.

The program was produced by Janine Cohen.

Join us again next week for a special anniversary program celebrating 50 years of Four Corners.
The very first program went to air on August 19, 1961, when television was in its infancy, the White Australia Policy was still in place, and the times were far less complicated. It was the start of current affairs television.

We'll reflect on some momentous milestones next week, but until then, good night.


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