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Archive for January, 2013



A BRITISH drug smuggler, Lindsay Sandiford, has been condemned to death by firing squad in Bali for smuggling in 4.8 kilograms of cocaine last year.

The sentence, handed down late on Tuesday, shocked Sandiford, 56, her lawyers and onlookers, because prosecutors had asked for a 15-year jail sentence, and because her four co-accused were let off with much lighter penalties.

Sandiford said nothing when the verdict was handed down but was seen later huddled in the rear of her court cell.

Shattered ... Lindsay Sandiford reacts as she listens to the judge during her trial in Denpasar.
Shattered … Lindsay Sandiford reacts as she listens to the judge during her trial in Denpasar. Photo: Reuters

She will now join the Bali Nine smugglers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan on death row in Kerobokan jail. The Australians are in the midst of last-chance clemency applications.

Sandiford claimed she had smuggled the drugs only because one of her co-accused, Julian Ponder, had threatened to kill her son.

She helped police by allowing them to watch her deliver the drugs, and leading them to the co-accused.

Linsay June Sandiford is escorted by a armed customs personnel at a customs office in Denpasar on Bali island.
Helped Bali police … Lindsay Sandiford last year. Photo: AFP

But I Gusti Agung Bagus Wijaya Adi, a member of the three-judge panel at the Denpasar District Court, said ”aggravating circumstances” justified the death penalty.
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Sandiford had refused to admit the cocaine had belonged to her (she said it belonged to Ponder), she had given ”twisted and convoluted testimony”, and had shown no remorse, he said.

When the chief judge, Amser Simanjuntak, read out the death penalty, Sandiford looked directly at him, but looked as though she was holding back tears.

Sandiford’s lawyer, Esra Karo Karo, said the judges had ignored Sandiford’s pleas. ”We never expected this,” he said.

Prosecutors had told the court last month that they were calling for a relatively light 15-year sentence because Sandiford had behaved politely during the case and had admitted her crime.

Sandiford was arrested in May when a large package of cocaine was discovered in the lining of her suitcase. After being caught by police, she agreed to deliver the drug-stuffed package to her fellow British citizen Ponder.

The delivery led police to Ponder, whom Sandiford accused of being the ringleader. Rachel Dougall, Paul Beales and an Indian citizen, Nandagopal Akkineni were also arrested
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All but Ponder have been given light sentences.

Dougall will spend one year in prison for failing to report the presence of an illegal drug.

Beales has been jailed for four years for possession of 3.6 grams of hashish and Akkineni will serve five years for possession.

Ponder has not yet been sentenced but prosecutors have asked for seven years, also for possession relating to drugs found at his house during a police raid.

It leaves Sandiford as the only one of the group prosecuted over the cocaine delivery.



Phillip Hewitson, an elderly man, from Norwich UK, was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. Phillip opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked “Is someone in your house?”

He said “No,” but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.

Then the police dispatcher said “All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available.”

Phillip said, “Okay.”

He hung up the phone and counted to 30.
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Then he phoned the police again.

“Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well you don’t have to worry about them now because I just shot them.” and he hung up.

Within five minutes, Six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up at the Hewitson`s’ residence, and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the Policemen said to Phillip, “I thought you said that you’d shot them!”

Phillip said, “I thought you said there was nobody available!”
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Huge cocaine haul of 300 kilos and $3.5m in cash siezed in Australia

THE quiet of the Port of Bundaberg in Queensland Australia, coupled with the annual Port 2 Port Rally event, would have seemed the perfect cover to smuggle in 300kg of cocaine into the country.
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But unknown to the four Spanish nationals accused of importing the drugs, two of the alleged international drug syndicate members had been under surveillance by Australian Federal Police since February.

The wait was worth it for the Australian Federal Police (AFP), who seized the huge haul of cocaine on Friday night in two cars at the turtle roundabout, and on the yacht Friday Freedom moored at the Port of Bundaberg Marina, in a joint operation with Customs and Bundaberg police officers.

The haul, believed to have originated in Columbia, is said to have an estimated street value of $120 million and is the fifth largest cocaine bust in the country.

AFP national manager of serious crime and organised crime Assistant Commissioner Kevin Zuccato said suspicion was first aroused in February, when large amounts of cash were being laundered and sent overseas from Sydney and the Gold Coast.

Two men from both cities were placed under surveillance.

Two months later, the Port of Bundaberg was flagged as a likely point of entry for the drugs and the Port 2 Port Rally a likely cover.

Asst Commissioner Zuccato said in September, Customs and Border Protection identified the yacht as having likely links to the crime syndicate when it was in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The yacht, crewed by two of the accused, and the Gold Coast and Sydney connections were monitored while the boat made its way to Bundaberg.

On Thursday, the 39-year-old Sydney man, believed to have been the ringleader, travelled to the Gold Coast.

He and the other syndicate member then travelled to Bundaberg on Friday, allegedly to meet the Friday Freedom to exchange the drugs.

Asst Commissioner Zuccato said police would allege that once the decision had been made to move the drugs from the boat, the couple had used tools to remove the narcotics from their hiding place in the boat’s hull.

The drugs, wrapped in tape and black plastic for waterproofing, were then allegedly packed into suitcases and two were given to the pair from the Gold Coast and Sydney.

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Asst Commissioner Zuccato said the drugs in the suitcases weighed about 45kg each and a suitcase was placed in each car.

About 10.30 on Friday night, after boarding the yacht, police caught up with two alleged syndicate members in the cars.

Co-ordinated raids on addresses in Bondi and Surfers Paradise led to the collective discovery about $3.5 million, but AFP officers are still counting it.

Queensland Police state crime operations command Superintendent Michael Condon said there was no evidence to suggest the drugs were destined for this month’s Schoolies festival.

“Obviously a seizure of this nature will always put pressure on the criminal elements that are involved in the distribution of drugs throughout the community,” he said.

“At this stage it is unknown where the drugs were destined, so to say it was destined for the party areas is probably speculation more than anything.

‘An individual from Sydney received some information and decided they were ready to go,’’ Mr Zuccato said.

‘‘They had been communicating with the people on the boat, three weeks is a long time to wait.

‘‘They were very patient.’’

Last Thursday, the 38-year-old man allegedly drove from Sydney to the Gold Coast where he stayed at the residence of a 39-year-old man at Surfers Paradise.

Mr Zuccato said they drove from the Gold Coast to Bundaberg the next morning and boarded the yacht.

The pair had hired a Corolla and a Pajero and allegedly left the boat with about 100 kilograms worth of cocaine in two suitcases.

They loaded the suitcases into the cars and started to drive away.

‘‘That is when the decision was made to move in on them for security reasons,’’ Mr Zuccato said.

Police arrested the two men driving away and the two people on the Friday Freedom before they moved the yacht to a dry dock to be searched.
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They allegedly found more cocaine, which had been wrapped in black tape and plastic to keep it dry and stored in the hull of the boat.

Mr Zuccato said police were interviewing the foursome and believed the 38-year-old to be a kingpin in the international crime syndicate.

‘‘This is really only the beginning of investigations,’’ he said.

Police believe the cocaine originated from South America and they are not sure where exactly where it was destined once it was taken off the yacht, but police believed it had no connection to Schoolies Week.

The cocaine will be forensically examined before being burnt in industrial incinerators.

‘‘This operation demonstrates that the AFP, with our international and domestic partners, has the capability, resources and commitment to successfully detect and dismantle the most sophisticated organised crime groups,’’ Mr Zuccato said.

‘‘The AFP seized 796 kilograms of cocaine last financial year, an increase of 103 per cent on the previous year.

‘‘As long as organised crime groups target Australia we will continue our efforts to disrupt their activities and arrest those who seek to bring harm to the Australian community.’’

The four Spanish nationals are scheduled to appear in Bundaberg Magistrates Court today to face charges relating to the import of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
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NO TIME TO SAY HELLO, GOODBYE! A police officer on patrol in Portage,Ind., saw a car speeding through town — at an estimated 100 mph – and swerving from lane to lane and nearly wrecking. By the time the officer caught up with the car, it had pulled into the Nativity of Our Savior Church, where the driver spun “donuts” in the parking lot, nearly rolling the Jeep over, the officer said. Timothy N. Thompson, 23, explained to the officer that he was late for his wedding at the church, and after all, he had his emergency flashers on. When the officer stepped away for a moment, Thompson got back into his car to drive closer to the church. He was again stopped. “Oh, I thought you were done,” he told the officer. “I’m late for a party in Chicago. It now means I have to drive really fast to get there.” He also noted that he had just been released from jail that day. Thompson was arrested on charges of criminal recklessness, reckless driving, speeding, improper passing, and resisting officers, and held without bond. (RC/Northwest Indiana Times) …

Neither monetary nor matrimonial.

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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha
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