Moment Dru Baggaley was arrested on $200m coke boat
Videos showing the dramatic adrenaline-filled arrest at gunpoint of an alleged cocaine smuggler by elite Queensland police at sea off the coast of northern NSW and an earlier high-speed chase of an by a navy patrol boat can be shown for the first time.
The footage, which has been played to the jury in the trial of a former Olympic kayaker and his brother accused of trying to smuggle $200m worth of cocaine into Australia, was today released by the Supreme Court in Brisbane.
Coolangatta fishmonger Dru Anthony Baggaley, 39, and his older brother Nathan, 45, a former Olympic kayaker, have pleaded not guilty to attempting to import a commercial quantity of cocaine into Australia in Coolangatta and elsewhere between December 16, 2017 and August 2, 2018.
Dru Baggaley can be seen in one video putting his hands behind head after four rifle-toting and balaclava-wearing Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) officers boarded the rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) on which he was a passenger July 31, 2018.
The officers, wearing all black, boarded the RHIB after it was intercepted at high speed 65 nautical miles off the coast from Byron Bay, at about 5pm.
The RHIB was skippered by Anthony Trevor Draper, 56, a former fisherman from Sydney, who today told the jury he did not hear when navy patrol boat Cape Fourcroy earlier warned him over the radio and a loudhailer that if they did not stop he would be forced to fire warning shots in front of their bow.
Draper told the jury he was speeding at about 40 knots in a bid to escape the navy patrol boat with his cargo, allegedly up to 650kg of cocaine worth about $200m.
Draper, who told the jury he had come in to give evidence from prison serving his sentence for his role in the attempted importation, said as the navy ship was "right behind us, we just started throwing the packages overboard".
He testified that Dru told him to "just keep driving, just keep going back to Brunswick Heads".
Draper said during cross examination on day four of a seven day trial that he could not hear the Naval boat's order that he stop his boat because he was "wearing a beanie" it was windy and he was travelling at high speed.
"I was shitting myself … I thought we were going to get robbed, I thought they were pirates," Draper said of the navy patrol boat Cape Fourcroy which attempted to intercept them as they sped back to shore.
The Cape Fourcroy then stopped to retrieve the 30 packages thrown overboard which were alleged to contain cocaine from the sea, allowing the RHIB to continue on its journey towards the Australian mainland.
Prosecutors allege Nathan had a "key role" in aiding Dru's attempted cocaine importation by buying the powerful $106,700 boat, a $7000 navigation system and a satellite phone, and was waiting at Brunswick Heads boat ramp in northern NSW ready to receive the drugs on their return to shore.
While at sea Dru Baggaley and Draper were being watched by above by three planes - a maritime surveillance plane from government contractor Cobham Aviation, a RAAF AP-3C Orion plane doing surveillance for the Australian Border Force and a police aircraft.
Aerial surveillance footage of the RHIB rendezvousing with what Draper described as men of South American or "Latin" appearance with guns on a "big red boat" was played to the jury.
The men threw dozens of packages off the back of the red boat and into the water during a meeting that only lasted ten to fifteen minutes, Draper said.
Draper told the jury that the red ship sailed north-eastward and he tried to confront Dru about the packages believing they were going to pick up marijuana, but Dru told him get back to collecting the packages from the water.
The trial continues.
Originally published as Moment Dru Baggaley was arrested on $200m coke boat