Mar 24, 2015 07:40 PM EDT
In October 2010, the Australian Federal Police made fanfare of the country's largest cocaine seizures, only to find that the case over the drug raid has been riddled with embarrassing revelations for both the police and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information laws by one of the men accused of importing the cocaine have revealed that Customs did not tell the public about an incident involving one of their officers.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sydney-based customs officer racked up two 2 inch lines of cocaine on the hood of a car, rolled up a $5 dollar bill and snorted. He did not notice, however, that New South Wale police officers, in plain clothes, were observing him just a few feet away. He was arrested and charged with cocaine use.
Four days earlier, the officer had been part of a Customs operation that had seized 464 kilograms of cocaine from a yacht in Brisbane. A ministerial briefing to the former minister for home affairs stated, however, that the officer played a minor role in the seizure and that "he had no access to the drugs seized by the AFP during this operation."
An email sent to Customs' Integrity and Professional Standards branch reveals that the officer had said, after being arrested, "I was just celebrating. I'm about to be commended for my involvement in the large bust. I'm good at what I do."
The first trial over the drug raid was aborted after federal police officers denied under oath the existence of a video that was later found in plain sight on an Australian Federal Police website.
Other inconsistencies include discrepancies in the amount of cocaine reported to be found in the bust. In a press release, Customs states that 464 grams of cocaine was seized, but in court, it was reported to be 400 grams.
A federal police officer also admitted in court that they had been "unprofessional" in their search of the car carrying the accused Simon Charles Golding. He said that they has seized a bag in the trunk of the car, but did not see another bag on the back seat, which three days later was found to contain 25 kilograms of cocaine.
A new trial for Golding is expected this year, but no date has been set.
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