Canadian pair face NW cocaine charges
WA Police have made what is believed to be their biggest cocaine bust in almost a decade after two Canadian nationals were allegedly caught with 20kg of the drug in Port Hedland.
The haul, believed to be worth at least $10 million, was intercepted last month and was more than WA Police would normally seize in an entire year.
It will be alleged Tony Le-Ta, 27, and Van-Du Nguyen, 60, were arrested after they arranged to meet at Port Hedland’s Esplanade Hotel on May 29.
Police claim during the meeting, Mr Le-Ta handed a suitcase to Mr Nguyen, who was apprehended shortly after he left the hotel with the drugs still inside the bag.
Mr Le-Ta, who claims on Facebook to be a successful sales and marketing entrepreneur, was then arrested in his room.
Both men appeared in South Hedland Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where Mr Le-Ta pleaded not guilty to one count of supplying cocaine.
Mr Nguyen has been charged with possessing the drug with intent to sell or supply.
He was not required to enter a plea because an interpreter was not in court. He will appear in court again next week.
Mr Le-Ta was remanded in custody to appear in September.
Cocaine busts are common on Australia’s east coast but big seizures are rare in the west, where methamphetamine is the drug of choice.
Police figures show 18.75kg of cocaine was taken off WA streets during the entire 2014-15 financial year.
The State’s biggest cocaine bust was in 2001 when about a tonne of the drug was smuggled ashore at Steep Point, near Shark Bay.