NY celebrations land drug-smuggling accused back in court
A woman on bail accused of involvement in a multimillion dollar transnational drug ring found herself back behind bars after failing to check in with police because of New Year’s celebrations.
Oradee Thinraha faced the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning after police picked her up in breach of strict bail conditions.
The 28-year-old was facing four importation charges after her arrest in Canberra last month following a multi-agency drug smuggling investigation spanning more than a year.
Thinraha was bailed on December 20 after surrendering her passport and offering a $100,000 cash surety.
At the time Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker ordered Thinraha to report to police twice each week.
But the court on Wednesday heard Thinraha missed her appointment on Tuesday.
Her lawyer told the court his client had been celebrating the New Year and failed to report.
The Commonwealth prosecutor did not oppose bail, but warned given the gravity of the charges if Thinraha slipped up again the Crown would strenuously fight her release.
Magistrate Bernadette Boss continued the woman’s bail and adjourned the case until later this month.
Police allege Thinraha was a member of a syndicate responsible for multimillion-dollar drug importations from Canada.
The group allegedly hid ice and cocaine inside a tractor and commercial hospitality equipment to evade customs.
It is alleged Thinraha allowed the details of her uncle's Canberra restaurant to be used as a legitimate front for the illegal activities.
In October 2011, customs officers located a white substance concealed inside a tractor bucket.
Testing revealed the substance was methamphetamine.
Police allegedly found 24 blocks containing 24 kilograms of cocaine and 27 plastic bags holding 27 kilograms of ice.
The Australian Federal Police substituted the drugs and inserted a tracking device before clearing the bucket for collection.
Five members of the alleged syndicate were arrested soon after.
A police statement of facts alleges Thinraha was in a relationship with one of her co-accused at the time of the alleged importation.