Rich coke accused bailed despite fake ID
A RICH businessman accused of plotting to import $105 million worth of cocaine into Queensland has been freed on $500,000 bail, despite having fake identity documents and allegedly researching escape routes.
Jeffrey John Sagar, 63, an unemployed millionaire from Rozelle in Sydney's inner west, has been in custody since he was arrested by police on June 14 and charged with conspiracy to import 300kg of cocaine.
He appeared in Brisbane Supreme Court yesterday before Justice Peter Davis, where the court heard Sagar was "the agent of" an "as yet unidentified" Sydney crime gang who were set to buy the drugs once they landed in Queensland.
The drugs allegedly left Peru in September last year and were set to be imported in a shipping container via Colombia and Singapore and Papua New Guinea and across Torres Strait into far north Queensland, hidden in fruit jam, but never arrived, the court heard.
The alleged drug ring all expected the cocaine to be in the shipment, and for reasons unknown it was missing, and the ring couldn't identify why the drugs had not arrived, Commonwealth prosecutor Daniel Whitmore told the court.
Mr Whitmore opposed Sagar's bail application, arguing that police had seized a false driver's licence in a fake name from Sagar's Rozelle home, and that he had access over the past couple of years to substantial sums of money.
Sagar's earlier bail hearing in Brisbane Magistrates Court was told that despite being unemployed, Sagar had almost $1 million in the bank, and had spent $230,000 on travel in 2015-16.
Mr Whitmore told the court police had evidence that six days before he was arrested, Sagar had conducted online research of detailed maps of Papua New Guinea, and his co-conspirators had knowledge of navigating Torres Strait with small craft or light aircraft.
Investigating police were also worried Sagar could tip off the other members of his secretive drug ring, allowing them to flee or destroy evidence.
Justice Davis agreed to release Sagar on strict bail conditions, including urine drug tests, a curfew and a ban on him using a fake name.
He must not apply for the return of his passport, which is held by police, must report to police in Sydney's Balmain, and is banned from using encrypted communication apps and the internet.