Drug Mules Freed

The unlikely Australians caught up with international drug lords – ABC News

On 6th November 2015, drug trafficking charges in the High Court against 4 of our clients were dismissed and the clients were acquitted following the offer of no evidence by the Prosecution. In each case, the drug involved was methamphetamine hydrochloride, known as “ICE” and the amounts involved ranged from 1.4kg to 2.9kg. The Department of Justice carried out a review of the evidence following representations made by the Defence team, concluding that the prosecutions should not proceed. All of the Defendants had been intercepted at various times at Hong Kong International Airport in possession of the ICE and were bound for Australia or New Zealand. What was at issue was the Defendants’ respective knowledge that they were carrying ICE when they were arrested. In acquitting the Defendants Mr. Justice Zervos said that law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong should not just concentrate on the drug traffickers who may themselves be victims. Recently major drugs syndicates have been increasingly targeting elderly, vulnerable, and socially isolated people and using them as pawns to traffic drugs across international borders.

Interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation after the acquittals, our Christopher Morley said:

“The MO, the modus operandi, seems to be that they are targeted initially through emails. Then they’re gradually groomed and tricked into carrying the drugs at the last minute. And what I think is staggering about all these cases is the cruelty involved, the jeopardy that these people are put into, in some cases death. The one thread that runs through them all is that they’re all living alone. So whereas a husband would talk to his wife over breakfast in the morning and say, “I’ve heard about this,” and the wife would say, “Don’t be so stupid. It’s a scam” these were all people who perhaps couldn’t or didn’t have people of that nature to talk to.”

MCS instructed Dr. Gerard McCoy SC and Mr. Michael Arthur in the following cases:

  • HKSAR -v- ULITZKA Jorg Heinz HCCC487/2014
  • HKSAR -v- TONER Brendan John HCCC488/2014
  • HKSAR -v- TEUTSCHER Hendrikus Jacobus HCCC38/2015
  • HKSAR -v- MOORMAN William Leon HCCC310/2015