Five in court over PNG’s biggest drug haul estimated at K160mil
By BOURA GORUKILA
AN Australian pilot, an Italian yacht owner, and three locals appeared before a Port Moresby court yesterday on various charges relating to the country’s biggest drug bust last month, valued at K160 million.
In the District Court before Magistrate Dessie Kaputin Magaru yesterday were:
- Pilot David John Cutmore, 52, of Australia, charged with conveying on board an aircraft smuggled goods namely 611kg of cocaine under the Customs Act, and failure to comply with international travel measures under the National Pandemic Act 2020;
- Carlos Attanasio, 52, of Italy who owns the yacht Badu, charged with one count of smuggling prohibited imports namely 611kg of cocaine, and one count of being in possession of 50 grams of cocaine under the Customs Act;
- LOCALS Dominic Telauki, 35, of Mortlock Island in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Shane Dikana, 30, of Central, and Morgan Mogu, 35, also of Central, charged with aiding the foreigners and smuggling goods under the Customs Act.
Police allege that on July 26, at Papa Lealea village outside Port Moresby, Cutmore, the pilot of a Cessna 402C twin-engine aircraft with registration number VHTSI, failed to comply with measures (not to travel into PNG from another country) under Section 47 (1) (a) of the National Pandemic Act, 2020.
He is also alleged to have on the same date, without reasonable excuse, boarded the aircraft and smuggled 611kg of cocaine bound for Australia, contrary to Section 151 (2) (a) of the Customs Act.
Cutmore was represented by Agnes Peter from the Public Solicitor’s Office.
His case has been adjourned to Aug 25 as investigations are still in progress.
Attanasio is alleged to have on Aug 3, at Kupiano station, Abau, Central, in his possession on board a yacht, prohibited imports (50g of cocaine).
He was also alleged to have at Kupiano station smuggled into the country prohibited imports (611kg of cocaine) under Section 149 (1) of the Customs Act.
His case was also adjourned to Aug 25.
Magistrate Magaru told him to look for a lawyer to represent him in his next court appearance.
Cutmore and Attanasio are remanded at the Bomana refugee detention centre.
Dikana and Telauki’s case was adjourned at the request of their lawyer Thomas Wynn who needed more time to consult them.
Mogu, Telauki and Dikana have been remanded at the Boroko police station to await their application for bail.
Their case returns to court also on Aug 25.