ACT News

Accused drug importer suspected of `schooling' man to deliver drugs

Accused man is charged with 34 offences mostly related to importing a border controlled drug and identity fraud, writes Megan Gorrey.

Police believe a man awaiting trial over allegedly importing illict drugs to Canberra post office boxes under false names schooled another man to get drugs sent to city hotels, a court has heard.

Emin Yavuz, 25, pleaded not guilty to importing cocaine and MDMA bought online when he faced the ACT Magistrates Court earlier this year.

Yavuz's defence lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith,✓ attempted to have his bail conditions varied.
Yavuz's defence lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith,✓ attempted to have his bail conditions varied. Photo: Canberra Times

Authorities first suspected Yavuz when Customs officers at a Sydney mail centre detected a package containing 50 grams of a "pink amphetamine paste" in November last year.

Police allowed Yavuz to pick up the package at a Civic post office box, owned by a man named "Joseph Bolovski", while being recorded on CCTV, court documents alleged.

Officers raided his Franklin home and allege they found papers recording a series of mail tracking and consignment numbers, as well as fake licences under the names of "Joseph Bolovski" and "Stephen Angello".

He was charged with 34 offences mostly related to importing a border controlled drug and identity fraud, and was committed to stand trial in the higher court. 

Yavuz appeared in the ACT Supreme Court as his defence lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith, attempted to have his bail conditions varied on Friday, arguing they were more onerous than necessary. 

Mr Kukulies-Smith requested the court remove his client's curfew, reduce the number of times he had to report to police to three times a week instead of daily, and to get rid of a requirement that he must remain in the ACT. 

But prosecutor Sarah Cronan said the Crown's case against Yavuz was very strong and she opposed the application on grounds he posed a flight risk and was likely to reoffend. 

She said police were investigating alleged links between Yavuz and another Canberra man, Peter Poulakis, who was arrested on drug importation charges last month. 

A police informant said Poulakis, 25, was arrested when officers intercepted a parcel containing 250 grams of MDMC (Methylone) which was delivered to the Mantra hotel under the name "Jason Causer" in early August.

Police confronted Poulakis when he arrived to pick up the package using a fake driver's licence.

Phone records indicated Yavuz and Poulakis contacted each other more than 500 times between June and August this year, the informant said.

That included several text messages exchanged the afternoon before Poulakis' went to collect the package, and three phone calls Yavuz made to Poulakis' phone the morning he was arrested.

The informant said he suspected Yavuz had "schooled" Poulakis on how to import illicit drugs, and that the accused had "changed his modus operandi" from importing drugs to post office boxes to having them sent to various Canberra hotels after his arrest.

Police have not yet laid any additional charges in relation to those investigations.

Ms Cronan said the fact Yavuz was being investigated in relation to similar offences months after his arrest, and that police had obtained information over his alleged "close connection" with Poulakis, put him at even higher risk of either reoffending or fleeing the territory. 

But Mr Kukulies-Smith said his client had been on bail for months and had not breached his conditions. 

He argued the conditions were ineffective as all the alleged parcel collections took place during the day and a curfew would not prevent Yavuz from buying drugs from overseas online. 

He said Yavuz's current daily reporting conditions meant he would have had a 36-hour head start on police if he wanted to flee the ACT. 

But Master David Mossop said Yavuz was accused of a "sophisticated and organised course of conduct" and his alleged association with Poulakis went beyond "mere speculation" he had been involved in criminal conduct since his arrest.

Mr Mossop dismissed the application and ordered Yavuz's bail continue.