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Man pleads guilty to helping smuggle 1.2 tonnes of meth

One of eight men charged with smuggling a record 1.2 tonnes of meth into Australia has pleaded guilty to his part in the record drug bust.

Joshua Joseph Smith confessed in court to bringing the $1.04 billion worth of drugs in to the port of Geraldton in Western Australia by boat in December. 

The group allegedly sailed 500km off the coast in an old 16m fishing charter boat called the Valkoista to a ‘mothership’ and received the meth in 59 bags of 20kg.

One of eight men charged with smuggling a record 1.2 tonnes of meth into Australia has pleaded guilty to his part in the record drug bust 

Joshua Joseph Smith confessed in court to bringing the $1.04 billion worth of drugs in to the port of Geraldton in Western Australia by boat in December 

Joshua Joseph Smith confessed in court to bringing the $1.04 billion worth of drugs in to the port of Geraldton in Western Australia by boat in December 

They then allegedly returned to the port and offloaded their haul into a white van, but were intercepted by police as it reversed form the dock about 2am.

Smith was remanded in custody to await sentencing after pleading guilty in Stirling Gardens Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

He appeared alongside six of his co-accused via video link from Hakea and Casuarina prisons.

Christos Cafcakis, Waseem Hermiz, Khalid Keana, Serupepeli Rasaubale, Stephen Baxter and Sean Dolman did not enter pleas and were also locked up.

Christos Cafcakis, Waseem Hermiz, Khalid Keana, Serupepeli Rasaubale, Stephen Baxter, Patrick Bouhamdan, and Sean Dolman were also charged 

Christos Cafcakis, Waseem Hermiz, Khalid Keana, Serupepeli Rasaubale, Stephen Baxter, Patrick Bouhamdan, and Sean Dolman were also charged 

Eight men have been charged over the $1.04 billion drug bust involving a boat (pictured)  in Geraldton in December

Eight men have been charged over the $1.04 billion drug bust involving a boat (pictured)  in Geraldton in December

The eighth alleged smuggler, Patrick Bouhamdan, did not appear because he was in hospital, his lawyer said. 

Six of the men were arrested at the bust – three on the boat and three in the van – and two later at a Perth hotel.

A further 20 search warrants were conducted at residential properties in Sydney, the NSW Central Coast and Adelaide.

Another man, Jabour Anthony Lahood, 52, was arrested in Sydney last month in connection with the drug bust and extradited to Perth.

Police arrested the three people inside, including a 33-year-old man from southern Sydney and two other men from NSW, aged 38 and 52

Police arrested the three people inside, including a 33-year-old man from southern Sydney and two other men from NSW, aged 38 and 52

Officers intercepted the van as it reversed from the dock, allegedly finding 59 bags containing about 20kg of methamphetamine

Officers intercepted the van as it reversed from the dock, allegedly finding 59 bags containing about 20kg of methamphetamine

The Australian Federal Police display bags containing over $1 billion worth of meth seized

The Australian Federal Police display bags containing over $1 billion worth of meth seized

Eight men were arrested and charged in connection with the bust, shown here on display

Eight men were arrested and charged in connection with the bust, shown here on display

He is the sister of prominent Sydney brothel madam Jameile Lahood and son of convicted drug trafficker Harry Lahood.

The six-month, multi-agency investigation was the biggest drug haul in Australian history, trumping the 903kg seizure in Melbourne last year.

Police believe the drugs originated from China and were destined for the east coast as the bags had Chinese writing scrawled on them.

Charges include importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, and possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully imported.

Both offences carry a maximum penalty of life behind bars. 

A further 20 search warrants were conducted at residential properties in Sydney, the NSW Central Coast and Adelaide

A further 20 search warrants were conducted at residential properties in Sydney, the NSW Central Coast and Adelaide

Armed police could be seen guarding eight men arrested over a huge meth haul in December

Armed police could be seen guarding eight men arrested over a huge meth haul in December

 

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