An alleged Wellington drug boss may have had a gross income of up to $4.5 million in less than two years, police say.
In the High Court at Wellington yesterday, Stephen Mahy from the police asset recovery unit said he reached the figure by looking into Paul Peter Mawana Rodgers' methamphetamine sales and extrapolating them.
He was able to identify income from unknown sources for Rodgers, also known as Porky Rimene, of $801,536 during the same period between May 2009 and February 2011. A lot of cash spending was anonymous, so every method to determine income was understated, Mr Mahy said.
A former drug associate, whose name was suppressed, told Justice Stephen Kos that Rodgers also took his welfare benefit and expected him to pay for petrol used while doing drug deals for Rodgers.
Rodgers started living the high life, appearing to buy almost on a whim the American V8 cars that he liked, the witness said. He also bought two 250cc “chopper” motorcycles but returned one.
It was a bit of a joke - a “big fat joker” on a “scooter”, the witness said.
Instead, Rodgers ordered an 1800cc chopper, the largest available, and had it customised at a cost believed to be about $43,000.
The former associate who has given evidence against Rodgers says a death threat hangs over him for what he has told police about the drugs business that he claims Rodgers headed.
Rodgers, 40, has pleaded guilty to methamphetamine dealing and money laundering, but disputes his role in the offending. The Crown alleges he was responsible for distributing about 3kg of methamphetamine in the Wellington area. Before Rodgers can be sentenced, Justice Kos has to decide the scale of his involvement.
The former associate says he worked and lived with Rodgers, and was at his beck and call, helping with the drug business but also doing household jobs. He said he was often beaten, and drugs that were lost or ruined counted as a debt against his name.
When the witness was arrested last year, he decided to tell police everything even though it meant the charges he faced could be more serious. He agreed he received a reduced sentence for co-operating with police, but even so he was worse off for having told police the truth, he said.
“I decided that the way he treated me I owed him nothing, so I decided to tell the truth.”
The hearing is expected to end today.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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