How cops swooped on 66kg cocaine yacht haul
A UK citizen visiting on a tourist visa bought power tools at Bunnings to extract 66.5kgs of cocaine he smuggled into Queensland hidden in the fibreglass frame of a yacht, a court has heard.
Martin Mayers is standing trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane today accused of importing 90 blocks of cocaine from Ecuador in 2015 on the yacht named Solay.
Two other men, accused of attempting to possess 29kgs of the cocaine, are also standing trial before Justice Helen Bowskill.
Jordan Antic and Victor Vladimir Jocic are alleged to have gone to the Coomera Roadhouse Cafe on August 24, 2015, with a plan to take the cocaine away in their van.
Prosecutor Lincoln Crowley told the court that police swooped on the alleged drug swap as Jocic and Antic were in their Hyundai van with the "cargo door open ready for the handover" of drugs.
The drugs were never handed over, the court heard.
All three men have pleaded not guilty.
Mr Crowley told the jury that Mayers made two trips to Bunnings to buy a holesaw and an angle grinder to "bore into the fibreglass frame" of the yacht, which was moored on Coomera River, and extract the drugs.
The yacht arrived in Coomera on August 23, 2015, having sailed from Ecuador via Fiji and Vanuatu skippered by Estonian man Arthur Rivkin, Mr Crowley told the jury.
Mayers is alleged to have helped Rivkin to import the drugs, visiting him in Vanuatu when he docked there in early August, and talking to him over satellite and mobile phone as Rivkin sailed the cocaine into Queensland, the court was told.
Police later found a further 54 blocks of cocaine hidden in the hull of the yacht during a search.
Mr Crowley said the prosecution evidence would include phone intercepts of Mayers phone calls, and surveillance videos of the yacht as it was docked at the marina in Coomera on August 24.
Mayer's defence barrister Kim Bryson told the jury that Mayers did not dispute that he went to the Coomera Roadhouse Cafe on August 24, or went to Bunnings and Vanuatu and that he helped guide the yacht into Coomera.
Ms Bryson said the Crown must prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mayers knew cocaine was on board the Solay.
Barrister Greg Maguire, for Antic, told the court that Antic told police he was at the Roadhouse to meet a man about a job painting a Gold Coast apartment.
The trial continues.