Cana­dian pair face NW co­caine charges

Pilbara News - - News - Grant Tay­lor

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.

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