Trial hears of drugs hidden in granite

Last updated 18:50 16/06/2014

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A Lithuanian man allegedly organised the importation of ecstasy into New Zealand hidden in consignments of granite. 

Rokas Karpavicius is on trial, before Justice Rebecca Ellis and a jury in the High Court at Auckland, charged with two counts of importing ecstasy from Europe in 2007.

Prosecutor Robin McCoubrey said Karpavicius directed the importation to New Zealand where local man Ronald Terence Brown, known as Terry, distributed the drugs.

The importation was not in dispute, he said, but whether Karpavicius was legally responsible would be the focus of the trial.

Brown and Karpavicius have both previously been found guilty of importing LSD and of laundering money. The importation of the Class B drugs was undecided, leading to the current re-trial. 

McCoubrey said there would be evidence of the movements of money and people as Karpavicius and Brown went to "vast" lengths to move money out of New Zealand.

Intercepted phone calls would also be played to demonstrate who was giving the orders, he said. 

McCoubrey said not once in the intercepted conversations did Terry Brown instruct how the money be given back to him, as would be the case if Karpavicius was simply laundering the money for Brown.

"It was (Karpavicius's) money because it was (Karpavicius's) drugs," McCoubrey said.

The money was transmitted back to Europe via a company called Kamo Ltd and by  "money mules" who visited New Zealand and carried cash back.

Pictures of the money mules were found on cameras when police raided Brown's Auckland home, McCoubrey said.

The trial continues.


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