#1 2019-05-04 22:20

Registered: 2019-04-01
Posts: 165

[NEWS] Crown says drug syndicate got help from high-profile sportsman

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/112436865/crown-says-drug-syndicate-got-help-from-highprofile-sportsman

The Crown says a large scale methamphetamine syndicate with connections in California, was helped by a high-profile New Zealand sportsman.

Tevita Matangi Fangupo, Tevita Sitanilei Kulu and Toni Rajendra Finau are on trial at the High Court in Auckland.

The three have denied charges including importing methamphetamine and cocaine into New Zealand.

The sportsman has not been charged but the Crown says he helped the group convert New Zealand currency into US dollars.

"You will also hear that [the sportsman] was involved with Mr Finau in purchasing drugs."

Justice Mathew Downs ordered interim suppression of the sportsman's name and warned jurors and those seated in the public gallery that no one could repeat the sportsman's name while the interim order was in place.

"He is not a defendant in the trial and he is not here."

Culliney said seven packages sent by the group were caught at the border.

"The reason I say it is organised crime is because this wasn't random, this was organised and sophisticated ... and the primary aim was to get as much methamphetamine over the border from the United States."

She said Kulu, who arrived from California in early 2017, used his contacts to source the drugs from the US.

Tevita Matangi Fangupo in the dock at the High Court in Auckland.
Some of the methamphetamine was hidden amongst a package containing t-shirts and shoes.

Culliney said Fangupo organised addresses for the drugs to be sent to and Finau liaised with buyers.

The group would also use coded language, referring to methamphetamine as "Captain America", "sio-ata" - the Tongan word for glass, "pees" (for pounds) and "kees" (for kilograms).

The operation was above street level, and bulk sold in kilo and half kilos at $160,000 and $80,000 respectively.

Toni Rajendra Finau on trial at the High Court in Auckland.
When the police arrested the group, $210,000 in cash was found in Kulu's apartment.

They were dealing with a number of gangs, the court was told.

Culliney said the operation also had to shift large amounts of cash back to the US to pay for the drugs.

On one occasion Fangupo travelled to the US with $40,000 cash on him

Tevita Sitanilei Kulu in the dock at the High Court in Auckland.

As well as the physical evidence, police were also able to crack into phones. Authorities also listened in on phone conversations after getting warrants from a judge.

The three have admitted firearms charges.

Finau admitted charges relating to having a shotgun and shotgun shells. Kulu admitted three charges relating to having pistols, hidden in his bedroom in his downtown apartment.

He also admitted having a semi automatic pistol.

What you do in life echoes in eternity...

#2 2019-05-05 09:20

Registered: 2019-04-01
Posts: 260

Re: [NEWS] Crown says drug syndicate got help from high-profile sportsman

Thanks for posting these news updates.

#3 2019-05-07 20:40

Registered: 2019-04-09
Posts: 154

Re: [NEWS] Crown says drug syndicate got help from high-profile sportsman

Cracked into phones? Hmm

๐™๐™ช๐™–๐™ ๐™–๐™ ๐™–

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